Mandhana 86 in vain, NZ sweep series
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 batter 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 at 159 for 4.
With the three-match series already lost after defeats in the first and second T20s, India surprisingly named senior player Mithali Raj in the playing eleven and she contributed 24 not out
from 20 balls after coming to bat at the fall of 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 but were left to hit a four off the last ball.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur said she was disappointed at the result and the 0-3 series defeat. BRIEF SCORES New Zealand 161/7 (S Devine 72, A Satterthwaite 31, D Sharma 2/28); India 159/4 (S Mandhana 86, S Devine 2/21)
Amelia Kerr celebrates after dismissing Harmanpreet Kaur.