Match Report | New Zealand vs India | 2nd ODI | Amelia Kerr's brave 119* discarded India's hopes to bounce back
Written By: Ritwika Dhar
Picture Courtesy: Getty Images
Kiwis were riding high on confidence after beating India by a big margin of 62 runs in the 1st ODI. Whereas, India had an uphill task of recovering from problems from their last two matches. India captain Mithali Raj won the toss and decided to bat first. India continued with S. Meghana at the top and quick bowler Simran Dil Bahadur made her debut in the ODIs. She came in place of the veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami who had been rested in this game.
On the other hand, New Zealand also came up with some very interesting changes. Vice-captain Amy Satterthwaite led the side despite having the regular skipper Devine in the side to test contingency plans ahead of the World Cup. In the last match where they fielded 5 pacers, they brought in left-arm spinner Fran Jonas in place of Hannah Rowe. They also rested their experienced pacer Tahuhu and brought young quick Rosemary Mair in.
Confident batting display from the youngsters
India’s new one-match old opening pair S. Meghana and Shafali Verma started off their innings very positively. Both of them were looking for runs and hitting some glorious boundaries. There was no Tahuhu to open the bowling for the White Ferns. So, Indian openers were lucky enough not to face her pace, sling, and swing at the beginning. But last game’s most threatening bowler Jess Kerr almost trapped Shafali on the 2nd ball of the 2nd over. She got a thick outside edge that went straight to Maddy Green who shelled it. But both the openers pounced on the dropped chances and cruised the innings with aplomb. Meghana looked in great touch with the bat and she was channeling her domestic form. They put up a 57-run partnership in the powerplay without losing any wickets.
But, Mair finally put a halt to their partnership by getting rid of Verma in the 12th over. Then Yastika joined Meghana in the middle to put up another sublime partnership. India reached the three-figure mark in just 18th over. Keeping up a good run-rate has always been a concern that seemed to have been looked upon. But another problem of mini-collapses continued to hinder the progress.
After putting up a 49-run partnership, Yastika (31) was dismissed by Devine. Satterthwaite introduced her late in the innings. But her aggression with the ball paid off ultimately as she broke the partnership. In the next over, Amelia took a brilliant catch off her own bowling to get rid of Meghana on 49. She missed her maiden international 50 by just one run. India found themselves in deep trouble and the captain and the vice-captain needed to build a partnership. But Harman’s horrible form continued as teenager Fran Jonas scalped her maiden international wicket.
From overs 20 to 30, India only scored 30 runs and lost 3 wickets. That is where India completely lost the momentum and needed something special to put up over 250 on the board. That’s when 18-year-old Richa Ghosh was up for the job. Without being perturbed by the situation, she batted amazingly and brought her team out of the hole. She was well-supported by her skipper at the other end. Richa raised her bat to celebrate her maiden international half-century. They stitched a mammoth partnership of 108 runs. Her remarkable innings of 65 off 64 was the real game-changer.
Mithali Raj’s run-affair continued in the Valentine month as before this series, she scored 637 runs at an average of 53.1. That pile of runs consisted of five fifties and two hundreds. And in the last two matches, she added two more fifties to that tally. It was also her 61st ODI fifty and she became the 1st captain to score 5000+ runs in women’s ODIs. She guided her team to 270 runs after 50 overs which was the highest total of India against the Kiwis in the ODIs.
The amazing Amelia show took away all the limelight
This was going to be a steep ask for New Zealand to chase as Devine paired up with Bates. Richa Ghosh was nursing an injury while batting and hence, had to sit out from the 2nd. Taniya Bhatia donned the gloves. India started with Vastrakar’s pace at one end and Deepti’s off-spin at the other.
Both Bates and Devine were only dealing with boundaries. Pooja was not been able to get her line and length right. Debutant Simran was also bowling waywardly. So, Raj showed more faith in her spinners and immediately took her fast bowlers out. And Deepti Sharma got the breakthrough of Bates. Taniya Bhatia pulled off an amazing piece of stumping to dismiss the last match’s centurion. Then Gayakwad sent off the dangerous-looking Devine back to the hut. Deepti struck again to dismiss Satterthwaite for a golden duck. New Zealand were reduced to 55-3 in 8.5 overs. But there was no demon in the pitch. And throughout the innings, the pitch held its shape pretty well. Kerr & Green then stitched together a partnership and ran over the toothless Indian bowling. They put up a well-knitted 128-run partnership.
India struck back and took Green’s wicket on 52 (61). Poonam Yadav gave the breakthrough after almost 25 overs. Wickets were falling at the other end but Kerr held one end firmly. The equation for White Ferns was 18 runs in 15 balls required with 3 wickets in hand. Jess Kerr joined her younger sister in the middle. Jess thrashed away one over the covers against the part-timer Harman and that was the game. They reached the target in the penultimate over itself.
New Zealand won by 3 wickets and there was no surprise that Amelia Kerr won the Player of the Match award for picking the wicket of well-settled Meghana and scoring a match-winning ton of 119* off 135.
After having an under-par outing in the field, decent bowling and losing their 3 pillars of their batting Bates, Devine, and Sattethwaite early, New Zealand bounced back with Kerr’s matured innings to chase down 271 with 1 over to spare which will certainly give them a world of confidence before the World Cup.
India – 270/6 (50) M. Raj 66 (81), R. Ghosh 65 (64); S. Devine 2/42 (8), A. Kerr 1/43 (8)
New Zealand – 273/7 (49) A. Kerr 119* (135), M. Green 52 (61); D. Sharma 4/52 (10), P. Yadav 1/41 (10)