Indian women produced an all-round performance to register a convincing 186-run victory over New Zealand and book a place in the semis. The Kiwis were restricted to a paltry 79 after excellent innings from Mithali Raj(109) and Veda Krishnamurthy(70) helped India post a competitive 265 on the board.
Brief Scores: India 265/7 ( Veda Krishnamurthy 70, Mithali Raj 109; Leigh Kasperek 3/45, Hannah Rowe 2/30) beat New Zealand 79/10 (Amy Satterthwaite 26, Katey Martin 12; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 5/15, Deepti Sharma 2/26 ).
New Zealand won the toss and skipper Suzie Bates chose to field owing to the overcast conditions and the forecasts of rains. India brought in Rajeshwari Gayakwad to replace Ekta Bisht while New Zealand made two changes bringing in Hannah Rowe and Maddy Green for Holly Huddleston and Erin Bermingham
Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur setup a perfect platform for India
Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana started cautiously taking their sweet time to read the pitch and the conditions. However, both the openers departed in quick succession bringing in Indian Mithali Raj and all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur onto the crease as early as the 8th over. The duo of Mithali and Harmanpreet gradually went about the task of rebuilding the Indian innings while dismissing the bad deliveries to the boundary as India finished the first powerplay with a scoreboard reading 31-2. Mithali donned the role of the aggressor, spearheading India’s batting while scoring at a decent pace to keep the run rate above 4 runs per over, as Harmanpreet took her time to set her eye in the game. The pair ensured India reach the halfway mark of the innings without losing any more wickets with the scoreboard reading 92-2.
Mithali’s ton and Krishnamurthy’s fiery cameo power India to 265
Raj continued to play each ball to its merit and in the process brought up her fiftieth ODI fifty. Harmanpreet, on the other hand, started playing aggressively as the two reached the 100-run mark in their partnership in the 31st over before the 28-year old reached her ninth ODI fifty. Harmanpreet followed up her half-century by hitting Leigh Kasperek for 10 runs before being dismissed at 60. The incoming Deepti Sharma only lasted for two deliveries and perished for a duck and it seemed India would once again crumble towards the end. However, the incoming Veda Krishnamurthy had other ideas in mind and started smashing the Kiwi bowlers from the very outset of her innings. Amelia Kerr had to face the brunt when Krishnamurthy smashed her for 16 runs in the 43rd over. Krishnamurthy kept smashing the bowlers mercilessly bringing her fifty in just 34 deliveries with a maximum. Meanwhile, Mithali played cleverly, giving the majority of the strike to her explosive compatriot, and went on to score her 6th ODI hundred. The explosive combination weaved a hundred run partnership in just 74 deliveries ensuring India posted a competitive 265 on the board in the virtual quarterfinals against New Zealand.
Indian bowlers dismantle New Zealand as India cruise into the semifinals
Shikha Pandey gave India the perfect start dismissing New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates with the very first delivery of her over. Jhulan Goswami followed it up with the wicket of Rachel Priest sending back both the openers back to the dressing room in a matter of two overs. The incoming Katey Martin and Amy Satterthwaite were expected to rebuild the Kiwi innings and went about their task gradually with New Zealand finishing the powerplay with 26-2 on the board. However, Deepti Sharma did wonders for the team with her off-spin and sent Katey Martin packing piling up even more pressure on the Kiwis. Satterthwaite took charge and did the majority of scoring while Sophie Devine concentrated on rotating the strike but the partnership was soon brought to an end by Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who Satterthwaite to put India in a commanding position in the match. The Kiwis never recovered from then on and further went on to lose three wickets in three successive overs nearing their exit from the Women’s World Cup. It was then just a matter of time before the Kiwis were bowled out and it did not take long as India registered a convincing 186-run win and eased into the semifinals of the tournament to keep hopes of a World Cup alive.
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