New Zealand Women thrash India by 63 runs in rain-interrupted ODI

Queenstown (New Zealand): New Zealand Women moved one step closer to making a clean sweep of the five-match One-day International series against the Mithali Raj-led India, defeating the tourists by 63 runs in the fourth game at the John Davies Oval here on Tuesday.

Amelia Kerr’s unbeaten 68, combined with useful knocks from three other top-order batters helped the White Ferns score 191/5 in a rain-interrupted game reduced to 20 overs per side. For India, barring Mithali Raj (30) and wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh (52) no other batter could cross 20 as the tourists were bundled out for 128 in 17.5 overs.

Thanks to all-rounder Amelia Kerr, who is shaping up well for next month’s ICC women’s World Cup at home, the hosts continued to maintain their recent dominance. After scoring a 33-ball 68, Kerr returned with the ball to pick up the final three wickets as India suffered the biggest defeat in the ongoing ODI series so far.

Richa Ghosh (52 from 29 balls) was the only shining light for the visitors as she scored the fastest-ever half century by an Indian woman in an ODI to save some embarrassment for the tourists.

After a lengthy delay due to rain, skipper Sophie Devine (32) and Suzie Bates (41) got New Zealand off to an excellent start as they scored with ease to take the score to 53/0 in the sixth over. Devine fell to Renuka Singh (2/33), but Amelia Kerr joined Bates and the duo continued to put pressure on the Indian bowlers by finding the boundary with ease.

Amy Satterthwaite (32 off 16 balls) got in on the act to smash consecutive sixes from Deepti Sharma (1/49) and Amelia Kerr kept the momentum going as the White Ferns set India a massive target.

India lost Shafali Verma (0) to a soft dismissal to Frances Mackay (2/22) in the opening over of the chase and when Yastika Bhatia (0) fell to Jess Kerr (2/11) in the next over it was not looking good for Mithali Raj’s side.

Pooja Vastrakar (4) was Hayley Jensen’s (3/32) first victim in the next over to make it 12/3 before Smriti Mandhana (13) picked out Amelia Kerr on the deep midwicket fence to ensure the hosts were firmly in control.

Ghosh and Mithali combined to put on 77 from just 49 balls for the fifth wicket to breathe some life into the contest, but it was all in vain as Amelia Kerr (3/30) returned to the attack to put the final stamp on a dominant New Zealand victory.

The fifth and final game of the series will be played at the same ground on February 24.

Brief scores: New Zealand Women 191/5 in 20 overs (Sophie Devine 32, Suzie Bates 41, Amelia Kerr 68 not out, Amy Satterthwaite 32; Renuka Singh 2/33) beat India Women 128 in 17.5 overs (Mithali Raj 30, Richa Ghosh 52; Hayley Jensen 3/32, Amelia Kerr 3/30) by 63 runs.

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