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NZ vs IND, 1st ODI: All-round performance helps hosts win

Suzie Bates cracked her 11th ODI century, Amy Satterthwaite struck a half-century, Jess Kerr claimed four wickets as New Zealand beat India by 62 runs in the first match of the five-match ODI series.

The first ODI of the five-match ODI series was played at John Davis Oval in Queenstown on Saturday (February 12).

The visitors won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first. White Ferns had a positive start as Suzie Bates took on the pacers immediately with a couple of boundaries. She was also dropped by Rajeshwari Gayakwad once in the 4th over.

On the other hand, Maddy Green was looking in good touch. The duo went on the make a 54-run partnership for the first wicket. Nonetheless, off-spinner Deepti Sharma broke the partnership as Green was caught by Yastika at slip. Amelia Kerr, the 2nd highest run-scorer in New Zealand’s Women’s Super Smash, came in at no.3 for the first time in ODIs and faced pacers and spinners wonderfully with her beautiful technique.

Bates added another 50-run partnership with Amelia. However, Poonam Yadav send the latter back to the pavilion at 33 off 39 balls which also included 5 fours. She has shown immense growth as a batter in recent times.

Bates continued her brilliant form from the Super Smash- was also the highest run-scorer. In this match, she smashed her 11th ODI century off 107 balls. Her runs mainly came from the legside. However, her wonderful knock came to an end as Shafali caught her at deep mid-wicket off Sharma. Her knock included 10 fours.

Along with Satterthwaite, she made a 98-run partnership. The vice-captain, on the other end, scored her 25th ODI half-century off 51 balls. She also became the first player to score 2000 ODI runs in New Zealand.

In the last ten overs, India took seven wickets. At one stage, the hosts were at 222/3. White Ferns were all-out with 11 balls remaining. However, they gave a target of 275 for India to chase.

Jhulan Goswami, Pooja Vastrakar, Gayakwad and Sharma picked two wickets each. Yadav took one whereas, Harmanpreet Kaur went wicketless.

In return, India missed their opener Smriti Mandhana, who is still in quarantine in New Zealand, as both the openers Shafali Verma and debutant S Meghana got out cheaply. Yastika Bhatia and captain Mithali Raj gave India a much-needed partnership. Bhatia scored 41 runs off 63 before getting caught off Hayley Jensen.

Raj played some wonderful shots, and she also scored her 60th ODI half-century. However, Jess Kerr took the crucial wicket of her at 59. The required run rate was at 7.52. New Zealand did not give India a chance to rebound after Raj’s wicket as Kaur got out very cheaply. India kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Richa Ghosh (22) and Vastrakar (23) gave some hope. However, Hannah Rowe and Jensen took their wickets, respectively.

Jess Kerr was unstoppable with the ball. She picked the last two wickets and finished it off for White Ferns. They won the match by 62 runs. Jess and Jensen took 4 and 2 wickets, respectively. Lea Tahuhu, Sophie Devine, Rowe, and Amelia picked up 1 wicket each.

Bates was named as the player of the match for her 106 runs. India could have restricted New Zealand around 220 if the fielding was not poor. Fielding has been a problem for India for a long time. They need to improve that because the Women’s World Cup is just a few days away.

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