In­dian women draw blank de­spite Sm­riti’s hero­ics

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - —PTI

Hamil­ton: The In­dian women’s team al­most pulled off a dra­matic win but failed to score a bound­ary in the fi­nal de­liv­ery to lose the third and fi­nal T20 In­ter­na­tional against New Zealand by two runs here on Sun­day.

Chas­ing 162 for a win, star open­ing batswoman Sm­riti Mand­hana took the In­dian team on course for a con­so­la­tion win with a ca­reer-best knock of 86 from 52 balls but the vis­it­ing side failed to build on her scin­til­lat­ing knock to end their in­nings at 159/4.

With the three-match series al­ready lost af­ter de­feats in the first and sec­ond T20IS, In­dia sur­pris­ingly named se­nior player Mithali Raj in the play­ing eleven and she con­trib­uted 24* (20b) af­ter com­ing to bat at the fall of cap­tain Har­man­preet Kaur (2).

But she failed to hit a four from the fi­nal de­liv­ery bowled by Leigh Kasperek as In­dia lost the match by two runs. In­dia needed 16 runs from the fi­nal over and Raj and Deepti Sharma (21 not out) raised hopes of a re­mark­able win by hit­ting bound­aries in the first and third de­liv­er­ies.

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