Rohit Sharma’s Indian cricket team was bundled out for 92 in what was described as their ‘worst performance in a long time’. The men’s team was decimated for their lowest score in New Zealand and they lost the match by eight wickets. Mithali Raj’s Indian side scored slightly more than the men’s team but their quest for a 3-0 whitewash was dented as they lost by a heavy margin to the White Ferns in the third and final ODI at Seddon Park, Hamilton. The match was special for Mithali, who became the first women cricketer to play 200 ODIs but there was nothing special about the way how India collapsed against a New Zealand side determined to end the series on a high.
New Zealand chose to bowl on a pitch which assisted the pacers and they struck immediately. Smriti Mandhana, who smashed a century and 90 in the previous two games, was dismissed for 1 by Anna Peterson while Leah Tahuhu accounted for Jemimah Rodrigues for 12. Mithali failed to impress in her 200th ODI was snapped up for 9 Leah Kasperek. Deepti Sharma and Harmanpreet Kaur looked to attack but Harmanpreet was cleaned up by Peterson for 24. Dayalan Hemalatha and Deepti shared a solid 30-run stand but once Hemalatha was dismissed for 13.
Following Hemalatha’s dismissal, India lost wickets at regular intervals. Deepti reached her fifty but with her dismissal, India’s chances of reaching a big total ended and they were bowled out for 149 with Peterson finishing with 4/28. Tahuhu was the next best with 3/26.
In response, Lauren Down was run-out by Jhulan Goswami but Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite shared a brilliant 84-run stand for the second wicket. Both Bates and Satterthwaite took the attack to the Indian bowlers. Poonam Yadav gave India the only breakthrough when Devine was cleaned up for 57 but Satterthwaite held firm and ended the innings in style with a couple of boundaries off Deepti Sharma.
With India having won a three-match bilateral series for the first time in New Zealand, they are in a good position in the ICC Women’s Championship.