Picture courtesy: Freepik

New Zealand Women had a successful start to the three-T20I series against India Women, emerging triumphant by 23 runs in the first encounter. With series on the line, India Women will have to put their best foot forward. 

Pitch report 

It is going to be another run fest at Eden Park, Auckland. The average first and second innings scores read 172 and 149 respectively. The highest score chased at the venue is 245 in 18.5 overs by Australia against New Zealand. 

New Zealand on a rampage 

New Zealand did not stutter despite losing the experienced Suzie Bates. Sophie Devine put a price on her wicket, and in the process, scored 62 off 48. She got ample support from captain Amy Satterthwaite who upped the ante in death overs. Katey Martin gave finishing touches with her blistering innings of 27 off 14, including 2 sixes. 

India were on the doorstep of victory at 102 for 1, but Lea Tahuhu had other plans. She ran through India’s middle order, dismissing Jemimah Rodrigues, Dayalan Hemalatha, and Anuja Patil in quick succession and reduced India to 111 for 5. 

Leigh Kasperek and Amelie Kerr inflicted further damage, taking 4 wickets between them and bundling India out for 136. 

Probable XI for New Zealand: Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Caitlin Gurrey, Amy Satterthwaite (c), Katey Martin (wk), Frances Mackay, Leigh Kasperek, Hannah Rowe, Amelie Kerr, Lea Tahuhu, Rosemary Mair

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India face middle-order conundrum 

Losing opener Priya Punia for a mere 4 runs did not hurt India much. In-form batters Smriti Mandhana and Rodrigues added 98 runs for the second wicket and steadied the ship. That was that though. India lost the plot thereafter, so much so that that they derailed from 102 for 1 to 136 all-out. 

As they had done in the final of 2018 Women’s World T20, India dropped Mithali Raj. If they need stability in the middle order, one of the batters will have to make way for her. 

Apart from Anuja, all Indian bowlers took a wicket apiece. Deepti Sharma’s bowling figures of 4-0-19-1 read the best. 

Probable XI for India: Priya Punia, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Dayalan Hemalatha/Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Anuja Patil, Arundhati Reddy, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav

Fantasy team 

We have opted for a fantasy cricket team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.

What is your combination? 

My XI: Katey Martin (wk), Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana (c), Amy Satterthwaite (vc), Jemimah Rodrigues, Sophie Devine, Amelia Kerr, Deepti Sharma, Leigh Kasperek, Poonam Yadav, Lea Tahuhu

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