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Cricket news - Dominant India seek 3-0 finish

Smriti Mandhana has carried forward her terrific form

On the back of two clinical performances, the Indian women have sealed the three-match ODI series against New Zealand with a game in hand. Now, it's the matter of ICC ODI Championship points with the Indians eyeing a 3-0 finish that will help them cement the second spot on the table - they are currently tied with New Zealand with 12 points apiece.

Smriti Mandhana and the spinners have been at the forefront of India's success, with the opener bagging successive Player of the Match award with scores of 105 and 90 not out. Ekta Bisht, Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav, between them have accounted for 14 of the 20 New Zealand wickets to fall, restricting the hosts to below 200 in both games. With the experience of Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj also contributing to India's win, coach WV Raman couldn't have asked for a better start to his maiden stint with the women's team.

If at all they needed a little motivation to not take their feet off the pedal, there's only the small matter of a 200th ODI for captain Mithali. Needless to say, she'll be the first women's cricketer to the feat and would love to mark the landmark with a victory.

New Zealand, despite all the quality in their line-up, have not been much of a competition for India so far in this series and they'll be hoping to take some inspiration from the way the men's side ripped through the Indian top-order in Hamilton, which will also play host to the final game of the women's ODI series. With the series already beyond them, Amy Satterthwaite's team will be hoping to salvage some pride but for that to happen, they must come up with an solid batting effort which has been lacking so far.

When: Friday, February 1 at 2:00 PM Local Time (6:30 AM IST)

Where: Seddon Park, Hamilton

What to expect: The women's side will be buoyed by help that was on offer for the pacers in the men's game at this venue, and will be eager to replicate their performance. Pleasant conditions, with a high of 27 degree Celsius, will welcome the teams in Hamilton.

Team news:

New Zealand: Anna Peterson, who had replaced Holly Huddleston for the second ODI, had a decent outing with the ball and is likely to retain her place. With Maddy Green having failed twice, New Zealand have the option of bringing in the experienced Katie Perkins.

Probable XI: Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Lauren Down, Amy Satterthwaite (c), Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green/Katie Perkins, Bernadine Bezuidenhout (wk), Leigh Kasperek, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu

India: The visitors will be mulling about testing out their bench strength having already clinched the series. The options include Mona Meshram, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Mansi Joshi who are yet to play a game.

Squad: Mithali Raj(c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Dayalan Hemalatha, Jemimah Rodrigues, Mona Meshram, Taniya Bhatia, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Shikha Pandey

Did you know?

- Mithali Raj needs 11 more runs to become the first Indian woman to score 1000 runs against New Zealand in ODIs.

- In her last 10 ODI innings, Smriti Mandhana has failed to cross 50 only twice - 67, 52, 86, 42, 53*, 73*, 14, 51, 105, 90*

What they said:

"Frustrated and disappointed, I guess. We can play better than we have been and that's probably the frustrating part that we've not put up the display the know we can do. We need some big improvements to compete against a side like India. The crux of it is we need to score more runs and get more partnerships" - Amy Satterthwaite.

"Initially a lot of people asked me whether spinners can turn the match around for us on these wickets. The spinners have been doing well from the first match and Smriti has been among the runs, so has Jemimah. Overall the team looks good. We would want to make it 3-0, and we will try and give others an opportunity also in third game" - Mithali Raj.

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