If it was Sophie Devine in the first T20, another New Zealander Rachel Priest came to forefront in the second T20. Priest’s 34-ball 60 did the trick in sealing the series win for the visiting side as India couldn’t put up a winning total. Barring the 4th and 5th ODI games, India’s batting had been in shambles. Poor scores from the Indians have been allowing the New Zealand women to surpass the victory targets in the chase. India batted first once again but finished their 20 overs with just 136/6. After Mithali Raj was run out in the first over, top scorer Vellaswami Vanitha did her best to attempt to resurrect India but she ran out of partners and India couldn’t mount a challenging total. Although New Zealand also faltered in the 137-run chase, when they lost Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine by the third over, Rachel Priest led the batting heroics and ensured a six-wicket victory for her side in the end. With this win New Zealand also clinched the 3-match T20 series with a lone match of July 15 remaining.
Having scored most of their tour victories by chasing the target, New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine had no hesitation in asking India to bat first after winning the toss. The Bangalore wicket was full of runs but Indian women couldn’t capitalize on the nature of the pitch. In a way, misfortune also played a part as Indian skipper and opener Mithali Raj lost her wicket to a run-out decision in the first over. She fell short in covering her ground as an accurate throw from Suzie Bates crashed on the stumps. Four balls later, India lost another wicket, when Latika Kumari was taken out by Sophie Devine. For the third wicket, Vellaswami Vanitha and Harmanpreet Kaur managed to re-build India’s innings with an enterprising 47-run stand but after a brave 28-ball 30 Kaur fell in the 9th over. For New Zealand, Kaur’s wicket proved a reward for debutant bowler Hannah Rowe, who bagged the first wicket of her international career. Vanitha continued with Veda Krishnamurthy and the two women realized 37 runs for the fourth wicket. However, India could not jack up the rate of scoring, which dropped further after Krishnamurthy ‘s departure in the 15th over. Jhulan Goswami and Sushma Verma reached double digit scores but India’s total remained less than challenging. Vanitha had the highest score of 41 but she took 39 balls to reach there. In the end as India finished with 136/6, New Zealand were pleased with their efforts in restricting India.
Coming on to chase 137 for victory, New Zealand lost their captain Suzie Bates off the second ball of the innings from Jhulan Goswami. This brought a glimmer of hope for India and when Jhulan also got rid of the dangerous Sophie Devine, Indians had a spring in their feet. But such hopes were dashed by a forceful Rachel Priest, who smartly led New Zealand’s recovery. She guided the crucial 71-run stand for the third wicket with Leigh Kasperek, who was content in merely providing support to Priest. While Kasperek could only manage a 20-ball 15, Priest blazed with 10 hits to the fence and 2 sixes in her 34-ball 60. India had a small comeback window, when Priest and Kasperek both fell in quick succession by the 11th over. But with 57 balls remaining, New Zealand only needed 45 runs and they still had Amy Satterthwaite and Katie Perkins. The two Kiwi women thwarted all chances for India with a solid unbeaten stand of 47 and ensured New Zealand’s victory by 6 wickets and a T20 series win.
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