After trailing 1-2 at the end of the third match, India’s women cricketers brought an impressive turnaround in the fourth and fifth matches of the ODI Series and ended up winning 3-2 after their great bowling and batting performances in the last outing. For the second time in three days, New Zealand batted first and India chased the targets successfully with rejuvenated batting that had become their undoing in the earlier games. New Zealand faced trouble straightaway against the Indians. The start was ominous as Rachel Priest was run out in the first over. Despite skipper Suzie Bates holding one end, the run-rate dropped and by the fifth over, New Zealand lost another wicket. In her usual dominant way, Bates kept going with other batswomen. However, the fall of Sophie Devine in the 21st over began a slide for New Zealand and the last seven wickets fell for the addition of just 57 runs. The end score of 118 wasn’t competitive at all as Indian women crossed the victory target of 119 runs in 27.2 overs for the loss of just one wicket.
For the second consecutive time, New Zealand batted first after winning the toss. In a bad start for the visitors, Rachel Priest succumbed to a hesitating run off the last ball of the first over from Jhulan Goswami. Bates flicked on the leg side and started for the run but Priest’s response was slightly delayed and she couldn’t beat a superb throw from Rajeshwari Gaekwad in the keeper’s hand. Immediately after the fall of Priest’s wicket, the rate of scoring suffered and New Zealand lost another wicket in the 5th over, when Jhulan’s good length ball was nicked by Amy Satterthwaite in the hands of the wicketkeeper. Bates still looked undaunted as she found useful support from Sophie Devine. The two of them revived New Zealand’s innings and carried the score to 61 in the 21st over, before Sophie fell as an LBW victim to Harmanpreet Kaur. Bates managed to add 17 with Katie Perkins for the fourth wicket but Perkins departed at the score of 78 in the 25th over, when Rajeshwari Gaekwad trapped her plumb in front of the wicket. Now despite the presence of Bates, wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Gaekwad took her second wicket, when Maddie Green scooped a catch back to her. India engineered another run out, when Leigh Kasperek couldn’t make her ground quickly enough. After scoring a labored 42 off 85 balls, Bates finally departed as the 7th wicket, when she tried to flick Ekta Bisht but ended up getting a leading edge that was snapped up by Mithali Raj in the covers. The New Zealand innings folded for 118 all out in 41 overs with every Indian bowler making useful contribution.
After their fine batting show in the fourth ODI, the target of 119 was never going to trouble India despite the early loss of Smiriti Mandhana in the third over. That was the only wicket India would lose in the match. Mithali Raj dropped herself back in the batting order and sent Deepti Sharma instead after Mandhana got out. With Thirush Kamini batting strongly and Deepti providing admirable support, runs flowed from their bats and none of the New Zealand bowlers could make any impression on Kamini and Deepti. India comfortably crossed the victory target in 27.2 overs, when Kamini struck a boundary to Anna Peterson. Kamini finished with unbeaten 62 off 78 balls while Deepti made 44 not out. With two victories in a row, India also clinched the 5-match ODI series 3-2.
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