For most of the second Twenty20 International at Eden Park, New Zealand held the upper hand. Suzie Bates had smashed a fifty and it seemed Jemimah Rodrigues’s aggressive fifty would go in vain. With 18 runs needed off 16 balls and with seven wickets remaining, it looked like New Zealand would coast towards a win. However, Arundhati Reddy took two wickets and Deepti Sharma conceded just five runs. The game had turned with New Zealand needing nine runs off the last over. Katey Martin hit a four but Mansi Joshi got her revenge. A fumble by wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia resulted in New Zealand needing three off three. New Zealand held their nerve and sealed a tense four-wicket win on the last ball as they won the three-match series on Friday.
The fight shown by India was superb but yet again they were undone by an underwhelming performance by the batters. New Zealand chose to bowl and once again India had not picked Mithali Raj, their most experienced campaigner in the side. Priya Punia failed again and India once again needed a partnership between Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues to boost India.
Mandhana broke the shackles by hammering Leah Tahuhu for a boundary and a six while she smashed Anna Peterson for two fours. The 64-run partnership looked strong but Rosemary Mair got the massive wicket of Mandhana for 36 and India’s innings stalled. After hitting a boundary, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur once again struggled for a big score as she was dismissed by Leigh Kasperek for 5.
After not hitting a boundary for four overs, Rodrigues broke the shackle with a four through deep midwicket and in the 19th over, she smashed three consecutive boundaries off Amelia Kerr but her innings was cut short when she was stumped for 72 as India ended on 135/6.
Chasing 136, Sophie Devine started off brilliantly with three boundaries but Radha Yadav got the big wicket by getting rid of the player who had hit a fifty in the first match. Radha struck again by getting rid of Caitlin Gurrey but Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite steadied the innings and found the boundary on a regular basis. Bates hit a wonderful fifty but the 72-run stand was broken by Poonam Yadav.
India were not helped by some misfields and some poor keeping from Bhatia and New Zealand held their nerve to take revenge on Harmanpreet Kaur’s side after they had lost the ODI series 1-2.