Series: India in New Zealand Feb 2022
Venue: John Davies Oval, Queenstown
Result: New Zealand by 62 runs
At the foot of the Remarkables, at John Davies Oval, Mithali Raj won the toss for India and sent New Zealand in to bat. Having just completed the mandatory quarantine it was probably a wise decision. Equally a factor, this was the first women’s ODI ever played at this ground.
The Indian bowlers looked a little rusty at first but Pooja Vastrakar‘s right-arm medium pace was asking questions of the batters. Suzie Bates was dropped at point off Pooja’s bowling when she was just 13. The White Ferns veteran was dropped again before scoring her eleventh ODI century.
The fielding was lacklustre and the wicket keeper has had better days, with catches going down or missed completely by slips and keeper. They set the standard that followed as the Kiwi batters plundered the bowling, however the spinners managed to change the course of the innings. Once Bates and Amy Satterthwaite (63) were dismissed the batting just folded and what looked like a score of 300+ was trimmed to 275 all out with eleven balls to spare.
The early loss of Shafali Verma (12) and Sabbhineni Meghana (on debut) saw an excellent partnership form between Mithali Raj (59) and Yastika Bhatia (41) and it looked as though India would run down the Kiwi total, but once they were dismissed the innings fell apart, much the way New Zealand’s did. Jess Kerr took care of the tail to finish with her best ODI figures of 4-35 as New Zealand won by 62 runs.
New Zealand’s 275 was in fact their highest total against India but they ought not be satisfied with that for they left at least 25 runs out there. India should not feel too bad – key batter Smriti Mandhana is still in quarantine and surely they will have the good sense to play their first choice wicket keeper in the next match.
New Zealand 275 (Suzie Bates 106, Amy Satterthwaite 63, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2-28, Deepti Sharma 2-47) 48.1 overs
India 213 (Mithali Raj 59, Yastika Bhatia 41, Jess Kerr 4-35, Hayley Jensen 2-36) 49.4 overs
Player of the Match: Suzie Bates