Pathetic batting display by Indian eves in Bangalore’s second ODI was the reason for their defeat against the touring New Zealand side on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The match was literally a repeat of the first ODI, in which Indian women had scored even less and still won because New Zealand batting fumbled against spinners. New Zealand faced trouble yet again in the low-scoring game after bowling out India for the second time running. This time the target was 21 runs more than the first ODI but New Zealand were rescued by a confident fifth wicket stand between Sophie Devine and Katie Perkins after reeling at 68/4 in 19th over. Earlier Mithali Raj had chosen to bat after winning the toss but India’s batting seemed to go nowhere as wickets kept tumbling after the 12th over. Indian innings would have ended much earlier if opener Thirush Kamini had not scored 61. In the end, India set a 164 run target for New Zealand. But it seems capabilities on either side are equally matched because New Zealand stumbled in their chase just as they did in the first ODI, three days ago. However Devine and Perkins ensured that New Zealand finish with a victory and level the series 1-1.
After India opted to bat first, New Zealand bowlers put the openers under pressure. Smiriti Mandhana struggled against an accurate attack from Lea Tahuhu, Leigh Kasperek and captain Suzie Bates. Mandhana could only make 12 off 36 balls before she was bowled by Kasperek in the 12th over. That was the beginning of India’s batting collapse. Captain Mithali Raj struck three boundaries in her 13 runs off 21 balls but couldn’t score freely in her 30 minutes’ stay at the crease. Only Kamini kept one end going, though she too was uncomfortable initially. Regardless, Kamini negotiated New Zealand bowling better than others. After Raj departed in the 20th over to a quaestionable LBW decision against her, Kamini and Poonam Raut added 26 for the third wicket but they consumed nearly 11 overs. At this point, Kamini was injured and left the crease to make way for Harmanpreet Kaur. Even as Kaur held one end, other batsmen deserted her. Shikha Pandey scored 2 off 11 balls, Jhulan Goswami 1 off 7 and Sneh Rana 2 off 11 as India slumped to 123/6 in the 42nd over. Kamini came back to join Kaur but her second stay was too short. Kamini made a well-compiled 61 off 96 balls with 11 fours and a six. Kaur too fell as the eighth Indian wicket but not before she had added 31 to the score in 50 balls. The best tail-end performance came from Ekta Bisht, who notched up 18 off 18 as Indians were bowled out for 163 in the 50th over. Had it not been for Thirush Kamini’s 61, India’s total could have been even less. New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates snapped 3 wickets for 21 in 10 overs and other bowlers also yielded creditable performances.
Coming out to chase 164, New Zealand began by losing captain Suzie Bates in the 3rd over as she went for an uncharacteristic slash to a Jhulan Goswami delivery that crashed on to her stumps. But Rachel Priest and Amy Satterthwaite batted sensibly to keep the chase in the right direction. Spinner Rajeshwari Gaekwad removed Priest with a ball that the New-Zealander played straight into the hands of Mithali Raj in the covers. Gaekwad struck on the next ball to remove newcomer Maddie Green and stood on the verge of a hat-trick. But next batsman Sophie Devine denied her. In the 19th over, New Zealand lost Amy Satterthwaite to a direct throw by Mithali Raj and the scored became 68/4. Just when it looked that India would repeat their first ODI bowling performance, the fifth wicket pair of Sophie Devine and Katie Perkins foiled their hopes with a solid batting performance. India had glimpses of hope when Perkins got out in the 33rd over, Devine in the 35th over and Broadmore in the 38th. At 132/7 at that point, New Zealand still needed 32 for victory. But New Zealand survived because they had plenty of overs left. The victory target was reached in 45th over and the 3-wicket victory helped New Zealand level the 5-match ODI series 1-1. The next match between the two sides will be played on Friday, July 3, 2015.