Amelia Kerr guides Kiwis home past Indian eves

Amelia Kerr
Amelia Kerr en route to her ton. Photo: Twitter/ICC

Queenstown: India felt the absence of experienced pacer Jhulan Goswami as they failed to defend 270 to go down by three wickets in the second women's ODI against New Zealand here on Tuesday.

The loss meant that the visitors have now conceded a 0-2 lead in the five-match series.

Deepti Sharma took 4/52 while her spin partners Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, and Harmanpreet Kaur took a wicket apiece.

But India failed in the pace department with Pooja Vastrakar and debutant Simran Bahadur leaking runs without taking any wickets.

The presence of Goswami, rested from this game to try out new talent, could have made the difference after Indian batters rose to the occasion to set a stiff target of 271 for New Zealand despite the continued absence of star opener Smriti Mandhana, who inexplicably remains in extended quarantine.

But Amelia Kerr made the difference with her unbeaten 119 off 135 balls with the help of seven fours as New Zealand surpassed the target with one over to spare.

The Indian bowlers lost the plot in the middle overs when they allowed Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green (52) to stitch a 128-run stand from 24.4 overs for the fourth wicket.

Green was dropped by Taniya Bhatia when on 23 while Kerr survived a few half chances towards the end of the New Zealand chase.

New Zealand did not have the best of starts as they were 55/3 in the ninth over.

Sophie Devine (33), first match centurion Suzie Bates (16) and captain Amy Satterthwaite (0) returned to the dressing room in quick time.

But they found their saviours in Kerr and Green. The partnership changed the complexion of the game as New Zealand needed just 88 runs from 16.3 overs. They were 213/5 at the end of the 40th over and needed 58 runs from 60 balls which they eventually succeeded in knocking off.

Earlier, captain Mithali Raj continued her fine form with an unbeaten 66 while Richa Gosh also struck a half century as India posted 270/6.

Mithali, who had scored 59 in a losing cause in the first ODI on Saturday, remained unbeaten on 66 off 81 balls to play the sheet anchor role.

Young wicketkeeper-batter Gosh, however, outshone her captain as she slammed 65 off 64 balls with the help of six fours and a six in a brilliant performance.

Gosh and Raj shared 108 runs in 17.4 overs for the fifth wicket to help India set a stiff target.

Sabbhineni Meghana also made a significant contribution with a 50-ball 49, which was studded with seven fours, to stitch 61 runs for the opening wicket with Shafali Varma (24).

For New Zealand, Sophie Devine was the pick of the bowlers with 2/42.

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