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Smriti, Mithali sparkle as India eves clinch series against NZ

Smriti Mandhana guided Indias chase with a fine unbeaten fifty

Mount Maunganui: The Indian women's cricket team defeated New Zealand by eight wickets in the second ODI to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series here Tuesday (January 29).

India suffered two early setbacks in their chase of 162. The 18-year-old opener Jemimah Rodrigues fell for an 8-ball duck while Deepti Sharma departed for a sedate 8 off 11 balls. At that point, India were in a spot of bother at 15/2 in the fifth over but Mandhana and Mithali steered India to victory. Mithali smashed a six over long on to complete formalities.

India skipper Mithali was happy to bag the series and said the team effort made the series triumph possible.

"I am happy with the series win in New Zealand and I'm happy the way the team is shaping because even the bowlers are doing their job. There are batters like the first game, we had the openers doing the job for us and this time around, my partnership with Smriti. So overall, the team looks good," Mithali said in the post match presentation.

Mithali conceded that the wicket in Mount Maunganui was on the slower side and she was looking to play a supporting role to Mandhana, who is in explosive form of late.

"Well, I have always enjoyed batting in challenging conditions. I knew that today's wicket is on the slower side and will help the spinners and it's not going to be easy. It's not a wicket where the ball is coming on to the bat and it requires patience. Smriti is in good form, someone has to give her the support on the other end," Mithali said.

India eves will now look to sweep the series against the White Ferns in away conditions and look to continue with their good performance. "When you have a good run, you would want to continue it. We are definitely looking for 3-0," Mithali said.

In the first ODI in Napier, Mandhana (105) and Jemimah Rodrigues (81) had added 190 for the opening wicket as India successfully chased down 193 to take the lead in the series.

Brief Scores: New Zealand Women: 161 all out in 44.2 overs (Amy Satterthwaite 71, Jhulan Goswami 3/23) lost to India Women: 166/2 in 35.2 overs (Smriti Mandhana 90 not out, Mithali Raj 63 not out, Lea Tahuhu 1/16) by 8 wickets.

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Story first published: Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 13:41 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 29, 2019
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