It took New Zealand just 49.1 overs to complete the task. Amelia Kerr scored an 80-ball 67 to lead the home team. Lauren Down shot a flawless 64 to round out the group.
A three-wicket haul from veteran spinner Jhulan Goswami was the only bright spot as India again failed to defend an imposing score in the third one-day international against New Zealand on Friday. Goswami dominated the bowling attack once again, despite missing the second one-day international because of a back injury. She took three New Zealand wickets at the top of the order to scupper the host team’s 280-run target.
When India reduced New Zealand to 171 for 6 in the 35th over, they appeared to be on their way to their first win of the tour. However, Lauren Down (65 not out) ended up taking the hosts home with five balls to spare.
For women’s ODI cricket, this was the second-highest run chase in the sport’s history. All that was required of the Kiwis was 105 runs from the next 15 overs, a total of 64 from 10 overs with a four-wicket lead.
Down (35) and Katey Martin (35) put the Indian bowlers under pressure with a 76-run seventh-wicket stand.
After Goswami gave up 12 runs in the penultimate over, Down hit a six off the first ball of the final over by Deepti Sharma to help New Zealand reach 280 for 7 and win the match. After losing the first two one-day internationals by a total of 62 runs and three wickets, India was beaten by 18 runs in the one Twenty20 international. Sophie Devine was bowled for a duck and Suzie Bates was clean bowled by Goswami in the third ball of New Zealand’s chase for 14 in 2.3 overs.
Then, in the 24th over, she returned to remove Amy Satterthwaite (59) and Amelia Kerr (67), ending what appeared to be a deadly pairing.
Satterthwaite and Kerr’s 103-run third-wicket partnership rejuvenated the New Zealand innings.
When New Zealand lost three wickets for just 19 runs in the 35th over following the dismissal of opener Mitchell Kerr, they were reduced to 171 for six.
As a result of half-centuries from Shafali Verma and Deepti Sharma, India posted 279, their best total against New Zealand, after being put into batsmen’s positions in the first innings.
In the first 13 overs, India’s young openers Meghana (61) and Verma (51) put on a hundred-run partnership, but the tourists were bowled out for 279 in 49.3 overs after losing wicket at regular intervals.
Opening batswoman Smriti Mandhana returned from quarantine on Tuesday and was unable to play in the match for the second time in as many days.
Meghana smashed 61 off just 41 balls and hit nine fours and two sixes in the process. In her 57-ball innings, Verma hit seven fours. Harpreet Kaur’s terrible form continued as she made just 13 off 22 balls to add to her equal 10 runs each in the first two one-day internationals.
After a pair of half-centuries from Yastika Bhatia (19) and Mithali Raj (23), Deepti Sharma stepped up with an unbeaten 69 not out at the bottom of the order to push India’s total over the mark of 275.
Sharma smashed seven fours and one six in his batting performance.
As many as seven New Zealand bowlers were deployed, with Rosemary Mair and Hannah Rowe each taking two wickets each.