Girls suf­fer white­wash de­spite Sm­riti show

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES SPORT - Sm­riti Mand­hana Ro­hit Sharma

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 a mere 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 for 4.

With the three-match se­ries al­ready lost af­ter de­feats in the first and sec­ond T20Is, In­dia sur­pris­ing 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 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 but were left to hit a four off the last ball. Cap­tain Har­man­preet Kaur, whose in­dif­fer­ent form has hurt the team, said she was dis­ap­pointed. In­dia had won the three-match ODI se­ries 2-1 be­fore this T20 con­test.

“We are dis­ap­pointed to lose the se­ries like this, we could have done better. We have a lot of work to do,” she said af­ter scor­ing just two on Sun­day.

New Zealand 161/7 in 20 overs (So­phie Devine 72, Amy Sat­terth­waite 31; Deepti Sharma 2-28). In­dia 159/4 in 20 overs (Sm­riti Mand­hana 86; S Devine 2-21).

Brief Scores:

OPEN­ING ACT: Sm­riti Mand­hana sends one to the fence en route to scor­ing 86 on Sun­day

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