T20I series: New Zealand women clean sweep India
The Indian women's cricket team suffered a 0-3 whitewash in the T20I series against New Zealand. On Sunday, New Zealand eves clinched a two-run thriller to end the series on a high. In this dead-rubber tie, batting first, the Kiwis posted 161/7. And, in reply, Smriti Mandhana scored a fantastic 86, but India couldn't get past the line. Here's more.
For the Kiwis, Sophie Devine top-scored with a sparkling 52-ball 72. The team was helped by skipper Amy Satterthwaite, who scored 31 off 23 deliveries. The two players added 71 runs for the third wicket. New Zealand suffered a batting collapse towards the end. They ended up scoring just 21 runs from the final 20 deliveries. Indian bowlers had done well to contain them.
Smriti Mandhana scored her eighth fifty in T20Is. Further, she also hit her highest career T20I score in this match (86). Mandhana had scored 58 and 36 in the first two matches of this series. She ended as the top run-scorer of this bilateral series as well as the entire tour. But despite her efforts, India struggled in the T20Is.
When Mandhana was dismissed, India needed 39 runs off 27 deliveries. Mithali Raj, who made a comeback to the side, was at the crease with Deepti Sharma. The equation came down to 16 needed in the final over. Leigh Kasperek held her nerves and restricted India to 159/4. Mithali hit an unbeaten 20-ball 23, whereas, Deepti remained not out at 21.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's poor form has affected India in the T20Is. She managed to score just two on Sunday, after amassing 17 and five earlier. This was also India's fourth consecutive T20I loss under her captaincy. "We are disappointed to lose the series like this, we could have done better. We have a lot of work to do," said Harmanpreet.