3rd T20I – New Zealand Women clean sweeps India Women in a last ball thriller match

3rd T20I - New Zealand Women clean sweeps India Women in a last ball thriller match

New Zealand women had already won the series by 2-0 but the last match of the T20 series at Seddon Park was not a dead rubber, at least for the Indian team as they would have wanted to ensure a win before heading back home. New Zealand women won the match by 2 runs and the series by 3-0. Mithali raj was included in the playing XI after she was made to miss the first two matches. She replaced Dayalan Hemalatha who got injured in the last match.

SOPHIE DEVINE TOOK CHARGE OF THE NEW ZEALAND BATTING

New Zealand women won the toss and decided for India to bowl first.  Deepti Sharma and Mansi Joshi opened the bowling for India women against New Zealand openers Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine. Both the New Zealand openers have played match-winning innings in the series but have been unsuccessful in doing it together. Arundhati Reddy was successful in breaking the opening partnership in her very first over. She dismissed Suzie Bates for 24. Hannah Rowe comes in to bat and New Zealand were 52 for a loss of a wicket after the end of power-play. Poonam Yadav stopped the flow of runs after striking Hannah Rowe. Sophie Devine kept runs coming in through her bat. New Zealand women put up 80 runs for a loss of 2 wickets after halfway through the innings. Mansi Joshi provided a breakthrough for her team and Sophie Devine’s wonderful innings came to an end after scoring 72 runs off 52 balls. Devine and Satterthwaite together put up 71 runs. White Ferns were at 140/3 after 17 overs. In the next over, Radha Yadav who took 2 important wickets in the last match dismissed Amy Satterthwaite as Jemimah takes a good catch. Indian bowlers made a good comeback after Sophie Devine’s innings and New Zealand finished after scoring 161/7.

SMRITI MANDHANA CONTINUES HER AMAZING FORM

India women started the chase with Smriti Mandhana and Priya Punia on the crease. Priya Punia’s debut series came to an end after she was stumped on 1 run in the third over. Jemimah Rodriguez and Smriti Mandhana continue their shots hitting partnership and India scored 56 at the end of the power-play. The visitors still needed 106 runs to win from 84 balls. Smriti Mandhana scored her half-century in 33 balls, her 8
th T20 half-century and second of the series. Sophie Devine broke the partnership after striking Jemimah Rodriguez. Smriti Mandhana continued to score runs while captain Harmanpreet Kaur also departed early as she gives away a catch to Satterthwaite on Ana Peterson’s delivery. Mithali Raj came to bat at a crucial time. Devine shines again and gave a big blow to India as she dismissed Smriti Mandhana after her stellar innings of 86 runs in 62 balls. She has scored 180 runs in the 3 match T20 series, which is the highest by any Indian woman. The onus was now on Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma to lead India to a win hereafter. India needed 23 runs in the last two overs. A crucial second last over by Devine as she gave away only 7 runs.

THE LAST OVER THRILL

Mithali Raj scored a boundary off the first ball of the last over and passed on the strike to Deepti Sharma on the next ball. Deepti Sharma again scores a boundary and India women have already scored 9 runs in the first three balls of the last over and needed 7 more runs off the last three. 4 runs were needed off the last ball with Mithali Raj on strike. She plays it for a single and India women lost the match by 2 runs. After winning the ODI series by 2-1, India women would have to return home with a clean sweep in T20 series. The last two T20 matches were thrilling and nerve-wracking till the last ball.

India would definitely be disappointed by how they ended up on the losing side after being in winning positions at many times in this series. Sophie Devine was declared Player of the Match as she owned the match both with bat and the ball. Indian Captain Harmanpreet Kaur said in the post-match presentation ceremony that the team is disappointed to lose like this and they need to sort out their batting order.

Brief Scores:
New Zealand won by 2 runs.
New Zealand women: 161/7 (20) ; India women: 159/4 (20)

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