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New Zealand beat India by 62 runs at Women’s World Cup

New Zealand players celebrate the dismissal of Deepti Sharma during the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup match at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Thursday. AFP

Host New Zealand finally produced a performance to catch the attention of its main rivals at the Women’s Cricket World Cup when it beat India by 62 runs on Thursday in its third group match.

New Zealand lost its opening match against the West Indies, then beat Pakistan in a performance which was dominant but not eye-catching. India had played only one match before Thursday, beginning its campaign with an equally emphatic win over Pakistan.

That meant India went into the match at Hamilton in third place and New Zealand in fifth place in the eight-team round-robin from which four teams advance to the semifinals.

In that context, the match became a must-win for New Zealand and its performance was both timely and impressive.

Lea Tahuhu (L) appeals for a LBW call on Deepti Sharma. AFP

Amy Satterthwaite scored 75 and Amelia Kerr added 50 as New Zealand made 260-9, batting first after India won the toss. Harmanpreet Kaur made an outstanding 71 from 63 balls to lead her team’s response but India was all out for 198 in the 47th over.

Kerr’s 50, her sixth in one-day internationals, came from 63 deliveries and she was out next ball. Satterthwaite made 50 from 60 balls and strung together a series of partnerships which built New Zealand’s total. She added 67 with Kerr for the third wicket, 54 with Maddy Green for the fourth wicket and 49 with Katey Martin for the fifth wicket.

“There were certainly patches when I really struggled but I tried to build an innings with whoever I was batting with and take it as deep as we could,” said Satterthwaite who eventually was out in the 43rd over. “I thought the bowlers were outstanding in that first 20-odd overs which were exceptional.

“We’ve talked about our starts and couldn’t have asked for much better.”

New Zealand scored steadily at a rate of more than five runs per over through the first half of its innings and was only constrained later by excellent India bowling.

Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Pooja Vastrakar played an important role, slowing New Zealand’s scoring between the 40th and 47th overs when New Zealand added 30 runs for the loss of four wickets. Vastrakar, especially, troubled the New Zealanders with her full and accurate bowling, taking 3-19 in her second, six-over spell.

Jhulan Goswami bowls past Suzie Bates during the Women’s Cricket World Cup match in Hamilton. AFP

New Zealand lost Lea Tahuhu and Jess Kerr to consecutive balls in the 47th over and tallied only 49 runs in its last 10 overs but still built a total which required India to achieve a record Women’s World Cup run chase in order to win.

The New Zealanders then put the squeeze on India at the start of its innings. Smitri Mandhana fell early and New Zealand shut down the scoring opportunities for the India batters so that 7.4 overs had been bowled before the first boundary was hit.

After 10 overs, India was 26-2, after 20 overs it was 50-3 and its task had become almost insurmountable.

When Mithali Raj and Richa Ghost fell to consecutive deliveries from Kerr in the 30th over, India’s hopes had all but faded.

Harmanpreet Kaur hit six boundaries and two sixes and continued her outstanding individual innings until the 44th over when she was out with India 178-8.

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