Captain Mithali Raj’s well-crafted half-century was in vain as Indian batting failed once again with the visitors losing the first WODI against New Zealand by 62 runs here on Saturday. Opting to bowl, New Zealand rode Suzie Bates’ century (106 from 111 balls) to score a challenging 275 and India went last over at 213 from 49.4 overs and never seemed to be in hot pursuit.
Mithali, 39, played his ODI 221 and continued his dream form in the format (seven fifty in last 11 innings in ODI) to keep India in the hunt with a 73-ball 59 (6×4). . The Indian women’s team in their latest ODI recorded their highest race chase of 265 set by the Australian women in September last year, a win that had ended their rivals’ 26-match winning streak.
Mithali also teamed up with Charlotte Edwards to do 1,000 runs against four different teams: Australia, England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, in ODI cricket. She also became the first Indian to reach 1000 women’s ODI runs against New Zealand.
Mithali got some good support from left-hander Yastika Bhatia, who dropped to her usual No 3 spot, to stroke a 63-ball 41 as the duo added 88 runs in their comeback act. But it perished on a short pass from Hayley Jensen (2/36), something that triggered India’s collapse before Jess Kerr sealed the deal for the hosts with a match-winning 4/35 as India collapsed for 213 in 49.4 overs to be behind the five. matches the ODI 0-1 series.
India had earlier lost the T20I single by 18 runs in their series opener on February 9. India also paid a price for Harmanpreet Kaur’s poor form when she was coming off her exploits at the Big Bash, where she was named “Player of the Tournament”. she ‘she couldn’t make it big perishing by a 10 of 22 balls.
The last time he scored fifty was in March 2021 against South Africa as his last five innings marked a poor 10, 16, 19, 1, 30 not out, painting a sorry picture for India ahead of the World Cup which starts here. from March 4. The absence of their star batsman Smriti Mandhana, who is serving his lengthy managed isolation and quarantine, once again hurt India badly, especially in their record-breaking 275 chase.
There was no more left-right opening combination with lefty Yastika Bhatia dropping to her usual number 3, while Meghana teamed up with Shafali Verma up front. Rewarded for her impressive performance at T20I (a 30-ball 37 at No. 4) the other day, Meghana was on the lookout from the start as India’s run began with 12 point balls, courtesy of Tahuhu and the maiden overs of Jess Kerr.
Her wobbly innings (four of 14 balls) finally ended in the fifth after she slipped once Shafali (12 of 16b) grew impatient to miss the full stump to get caught lbw in smooth fashion. Wicketkeeper batsman Richa Ghosh made a 22-for-27 cameo, but after she was dismissed with a good swing, India’s career faded.
Previously, New Zealand were looking for a score of over 300 with veteran starter Suzie Bates’s brilliant 11th century ODI, but India came back strong taking the last five wickets for 25 runs to group them for 275 in 48.1 overs. Suzie was filled with the respite she got on the 14th when Rajeshwari Gayakwad dropped her at Pooja Vastrakar’s bowling spot to score a sublime 106 from 111 balls, studded with 10 limits.
Suzie reached her 38th fifty in 66 balls, her first ODI half-century since January 2020 to tie with White Ferns legend Debbie Hockley.
He later scored his triple on 107 balls, singled off Poonam Yadav and in the next over he made his intention clear with a back foot jerk for a bound against Deepti Sharma.