New Zealand managed to escape a 0-3 whitewash by registering an eight-wicket win over India in the third and final ICC Women’s Championship One-day International (ODI) here on Friday.
After putting India in to bat and bundling them out for a paltry 149 in 44 overs, thanks to Anna Peterson’s 4/28 and Lea Tahuhu’s 3/26, New Zealand rode on veteran Suzie Bates (57) and captain Amy Satterthwaite (66 not out) to overhaul the target in 29.2 overs and cruise to a face-saving win.
The victory helped the hosts jump to No.2 on the IWC table, pushing Mithali Raj’s India to third.
After registering back-to-back wins to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, India were once again banking on their top order batting to click, but on Friday the White Ferns looked determined not to let the Indian openers get off to a flying start.
The tourists were off to a forgettable start, losing the explosive Smriti Mandhana (1) and her opening partner Jemimah Rodrigues (12) cheaply, leaving the rebuilding job to Deepti Sharma (52) and captain Mithali (9).
Deepti looked solid at one end, but Mithali, after looking to soak in the pressure, fell to Leigh Kasperek, ending a 26-run stand for the third wicket. It was not the way Raj would have hoped her 200th ODI appearance would go.
But Deepti had support again when Harmanpreet Kaur (24) walked in and the duo added 48 vital runs for the fourth wicket, taking the total to 87.
With the partnership flourishing and the visitors set to accelerate, Kaur departed after her stumps were knocked back by Peterson.
There was no real resistance from India thereafter. Deepti went on to claim her 10th ODI half-century, and the likes of Dayalan Hemalatha (13) and Jhulan Goswami (12) scored the odd boundary, but the lower-order largely crumbled for single-digit scores, and the innings ended within 44 overs.
In reply, the hosts made up for the early loss of opener Lauren Down (10), with Suzie and Amy forging an 84-run second wicket stand to take the game away from India.
With the hosts within sniffing distance of a win, Suzie departed after a 64-ball 57, comprising eight fours and a six.
Despite the loss of the opener, Amy continued on before bringing up her own fifty off 60 balls, and together with Sophie Devine (17 not out), saw New Zealand home with ease.
The teams will now contest in three T20Is, the first of which will be played in Wellington on February 6.