WHITE FERNS. ©ICC

Tahuhu and Devine bring home the first win of the series helping the White Ferns beat India by 23 runs in the first Twenty20 on Wednesday (February 06). Two teams met at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, which will also host the Men’s game in the evening.

Put to bat, New Zealand lost Suzie Bates early in the innings after a spin away delivery misjudged and caught by Taniya Bhatia, the wicketkeeper. Sophie Devine seemed to be in good form, looking on to a fine start after Gurrey was yorked by Poonam Yadav bringing the White Ferns Captain Satterthwaite to the crease.

Devine and Satterthwaite had to reconstruct innings for there on. Sophie scored 62 off 48 with 6 fours and 2 sixes with a strike rate of 129.17 accompanied by Satterthwaite who scored 33 off 27. India looked sloppy on the field giving away a few extra runs and few missed opportunities.

After back to back boundaries for Devine, Arundhati Reddy bowled a slow delivery to which got Sophie out. Shortly after which, Satterthwaite fell for a full toss from Deepti Sharma and pulled the shot straight to the fielder calling it an end to her innings.

“We would like to get plus that 160 mark as it would put the pressure on to the other team,” said Sophie on air.

Martin and Mackay jointly added the 37 runs and finished the White Ferns innings with a massive six making the total reach 159. 

The Indian innings started of with Priya Punia hitting Frankie Mackay with a boundary, but fell to Satterthwaite on the fifth ball of the same over after Mackay couldn’t complete her over due to a knee injury.

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Jemimah Rodrigues came on to crease which started a formidable looking partnership between her and Mandhana. Mandhana put the debutant Rosemary Mair to swords after hitting her to boundary down the wicket and a subsequent six over extra cover and another over on-side.

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Rodrigues too took charge to the bowlers hitting three consecutive fours to Kasperek.

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Mandhana brought up her fifty off 24 balls with a risky six. This is marked the fastest fifty in T20 by Indian woman beating her own former record. Finally, Mandhana was dismissed at 58 off 34 balls to a stunning catch by Hannah Rowe.

Satterthwaite said post-match that she was “concerned” during the batting of Smriti Mandhana. She also praised Rowe’s catch and called it a game changer.

Satterthwaite propelled her best bowler, Lea Tahuhu to bowl as India toppled soon after, losing Jemimah next. Tahuhu ended with 3 for 20 and gave maiden over picking 2 wickets in the last over of her spell.

All the Indian batters fell for single digits soon after with scoreboard pressure building up even Captain Harmanpreet Kaur swung a big six, before being stumped. Sophie Devine finished the match with the wicket of Deepti Sharma with one over to spare.

In the end, White Ferns won comfortably by 23 runs with one over to spare. Lea Tahuhu was named the player of the match for her explicit bowling performance. Mandhana and Rodrigues’ 98 runs 2nd wicket stand was the highest partnership in a defeated chase in women’s T20I.