Chasing 276 to win, India started quite slowly and lost S Meghana early for just four runs. Shafali Verma didn’t last long too as India slipped to 17 for 2. Yastika Bhatia and Mithali Raj gave the visitors some hope by putting on a partnership as Bhatia’s proactive batting kept India in the game.
After adding 88 runs for the third wicket, Bhatia was caught off the bowling of Hayley Jensen for 41. Raj, on the other end, got to her 60th ODI fifty and then tried to push the scoring rate. But with the required rate climbing to more than 7.5, Raj tried to take up the role of an aggressor and ended up losing her wicket for 59.
From that moment, India’s innings slipped further and further into trouble. There were handy contributions from Richa Ghosh (22 runs) and Pooja Vastrakar (23 runs). Jhulan Goswami added 13 runs to India’s total while Deepti Sharma added 16. All of those contributions helped push India’s total beyond 200, but the visitors could only go as far as 213. Jess Kerr was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts with figures of 4 for 35.
Earlier in the day, India won the toss and elected to field first. Maddy Green and Suzie Bates started the innings positively, especially the latter, as she took on the short deliveries from the pacers early on. Both the openers were batting seamlessly against pace, but it was the introduction of spin which applied the brakes. The pair did put on a fifty partnership, but immediately after that, Green edged one loopy delivery from Sharma to slip to depart for 17.
There was a period when the hosts managed only 11 runs from six overs with the no. 3 batter, Amelia Kerr taking her time to get off the mark, eight deliveries to be precise. But it was her who started to change the tempo of the innings, taking on the spinners, sweeping impressively. Bates, on the other hand, was immaculate with her footwork. Going back to the spinners and creating room outside the off-stump were particularly standout features of her play.
The pair soon brought up their fifty-run stand as well. But Kerr’s movement on the crease ended up being her downfall when she tried to move outside the off-stump and pull one delivery from Poonam Yadav, but ended up chopping the ball onto the stumps. She was dismissed for a 39-ball 33. This brought Amy Satterthwaite to the middle.
The southpaw batted wonderfully against the spinners, managing to sweep them in front of square quite a few times, in the process disrupting the lines of the bowlers. At the 25-over mark, the White Ferns were 116 for 2, but in the period after, the pair took the attack to the Indian bowlers. Bates attacked the cow corner region, hitting the spinners with the turn, while she smartly accumulating singles and doubles by using the depth of the crease effectively.
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She also took the pacers on when they came for their second spell, hitting them square on the leg-side. She soon brought up her 11th ODI century, which was also her first at the international level since 2018. Bates, though, failed to push on, getting dismissed by Sharma. That also brought an end to the stand of 98 runs between her and Satterthwaite.
Skipper Sophie Devine played a cameo of 13 runs but her knock was cut short by Vastrakar. The right-arm seamer then went on to pick the wicket of Lea Tahuhu, who was sent out as a pinch-hitter. She also got Katey Martin run out with some really good athleticism, which to an extent made up for the few dropped catches till then.
Despite losing wickets in a cluster, the White Ferns managed to keep up the flow of runs. At the 40-over mark, they were 220 for 3, which turned into 260 for 7 in 46 overs when Satterthwaite was finally dismissed for 63 runs. The New Zealand side was eventually bowled out for 275 in 48.1 overs. Goswami, Vastrakar and Sharma all picked up two wickets, but Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the pick of India's bowlers with figures of two for 28.
New Zealand 275 all-out in 48.1 overs (Suzie Bates 106, Amy Satterthwaite 66; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/28) beat India 213 all-out in 49.4 overs (Mithali Raj 59, Yastika Bhatia 41; Jess Kerr 4/35) by 62 runs.