MOUNT MAUNGANUI, Jan 29: Opener Smriti Mandhana led the chase for India with familiar panache after a feisty bowling performance that steered the side to a series-winning eight-wicket triumph over New Zealand Women in the second one-dayer here on Tuesday.
Opting to field, India produced an excellent effort to bowl out New Zealand for a paltry 161 in 44.2 overs before player of the match Mandhana (90 not out) and skipper Mithali Raj (63 not out) stitched a 151-run unbroken third-wicket stand to guide the team to an easy win.
The duo resurrected the Indian run chase from 15 for 2 after the early loss of opener Jemimah Rodrigues (0) and Deepti Sharma (8).
�It feels great but I think our bowlers deserved the player of the match award more than me. I will give it away to our bowlers, they did a great job to restrict New Zealand on a good wicket,� Mandhana said in the post-match presentation.
The 22-year-old Mandhana has been in excellent form in recent times and on Tuesday�s half century was her eighth in the last 10 ODI innings. She hit 105 in the first match of the ongoing series.
On Tuesday, she took just 82 deliveries in her unbeaten knock of 90.
Raj, on the other hand, faced 111 deliveries in her sedate knock 63. But, she was a perfect counterfoil to the aggressive Mandhana.
Raj completed the run chase in style with a six as India reached to 166 for 2 in 35.2 overs.
�I am happy with the way the team is shaping up. I have always enjoyed batting in challenging conditions. It wasn�t easy, it required patience here. Smriti is in good form and somebody had to give her support,� Raj said.
New Zealand: Suzie Bates c Taniya b Jhulan 0, Sophie Devine lbw b Shikha 7, Lauren Down c Smriti b Ekta 15, Amy Satterthwaite c Taniya b Poonam 71, Amelia Kerr b Ekta 1, Maddy Green b Poonam 9, Leigh Kasperek b Jhulan 21, Bernadine Bezuidenhout b Deepti 13, Anna Peterson not out 4, Hannah Rowe b Deepti 0, Lea Tahuhu b Jhulan 12. Extras: (W-8) 8. Total: (All out in 44.2 overs) 161. Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-8, 3-33, 4-38, 5-62, 6-120, 7-136, 8-148, 9-148. Bowling: Jhulan Goswami 8.2-2-23-3, Shikha Pandey 6-0-19-1, Ekta Bisht 8-1-14-2, Deepti Sharma 9-0-51-2, Poonam Yadav 10-0-38-2, Dayalan Hemalatha 3-0-16-0.
India: Jemimah Rodrigues c Amelia b Anna 0, Smriti Mandhana not out 90, Deepti Sharma c Bernadine b Lea 8, Mithali Raj not out 63. Extras: (W-3 LB-2) 5. Total: (For 2 wickets in 35.2 overs) 166. Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-15. Bowling: Lea Tahuhu 6-1-16-1, Anna Peterson 5-1-26-1, Leigh Kasperek 8-1-29-0, Sophie Devine 5-0-27-0, Amelia Kerr 8.2-1-38-0, Hannah Rowe 2-0-18-0, Amy Satterthwaite 1-0-10-0. � PTI