Mandhana 86 In Vain, As New Zealand Completely With 3-0 Sweep > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Mandhana 86 in vain as New Zealand complete 3-0 sweep

Smriti Mandhana's half-century went in vain again

India needed a boundary off the last ball on Sunnday (February 10). Mithali Raj, having hit the first ball of the over for a boundary already, was on strike. And India lost by two runs in Hamilton, standing whitewashed 3-0 courtesy and losing their fourth game on the trot after the highs of winning the ODI series.

That isn't to say that Mithali lost the game for India - far from it; India might not have even got within two runs of the target without Mithali. The point, the bigger picture, is that India's chase fell short despite Smriti Mandhana blazing away to a 33-ball fifty, finishing on 86 off 62 balls, her highest T20I score till date. She was out in the 16th over, with India needing a further 39 runs from 4.3 overs. Trust any top side in cricket to win from there.

Mandhana hit 12 fours and one six in her star-studded innings but she found little support from the other end. Priya Punia failed for yet another time, stumped on 1 by Leigh Kasperek, and Jemimah Rodrigues, although quick, was around for only 17 balls, scoring 21 runs with the help of three boundaries.

There was a 26-run stand with Harmanpreet Kaur for the third wicket but India's captain contributed two runs and faced three balls in the partnership. It was all Mandhana. And when she was out, edging Sophie Devine to Lea Tahuhu, there was no one else.

Mithali and Deepti Sharma scored 24 and 21 respectively, both scoring at a strike-rate of over 100 but India were found wanting when it came to clearing the boundaries with big shots. That too at Seddon Park. Sharma hit a six in the over after the one that saw Mandhana's departure but failed to clear the boundaries on other occasions. Mithali scored two boundaries - one in penultimate over and the other one in the last - but a five-run over 18th over bowled by Leigh Kasperek came back to hurt India.

Devine was every bit deserving of the player of the match trophy. She didn't just get Mandhana out at a crucial juncture but top-scored with the bat too, hitting 72 off 52 balls until she was out, bowled, by Mansi Joshi. Together with Suzie Bates, Devine got New Zealand off to a rollicking start, scoring 46 in 5.2 overs.

Captain Amy Satterthwaite and Devine then put on 71 runs for the third wicket, the backbone of the innings, but Devine's dismissal to Arundhati Reddy in the 17th over meant New Zealand lost their way a bit, and could add just 21 runs for the loss of three wickets in the next 3.2 overs.

Deepthi Sharma was the pick of the bowlers, picking 2 for 28 after bowling three runs in the powerplay, and then coming back to bowl the last, which saw her picking both her wickets and conceding only six runs.

Brief scores: New Zealand Women 161/7 in 20 overs (Devine 72; Deepti Sharma 2-28) beat India Women 159/4 in 20 overs (Mandhana 86, Mithali 24*; Devine 2-21) by 2 runs.

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