NZ v IND: Smriti, Harmanpreet, Mithali score fifties, India win 5th ODI, avoid whitewash (ld)


(IANS): Fighting half-centuries by opener Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and skipper Mithali Raj helped India Women beat New Zealand by six wickets in the fifth and final ODI here on Thursday. Their first win of the five-match series gives India women a big boost ahead of next week’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to be played in New Zealand.

Smriti scored 71 while Harmanpreet Kaur struck 63 before Mithali guided the visitors to victory with an unbeaten 54 as India Women reached 252/4 off 46 overs in response to 251/9 scored by the New Zealand women in their allotted 50 overs on electing to bat first.

The hosts were boosted by a 66 by Amelia Kerr while skipper Sophie Davine contributed 34 and Hayley Jensen and Lauren Down scored a 30 each. For India, Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/61), Deepti Sharma (2/42) and Sneh Rana (2/40) were the most successful bowlers.

Brief scores:

New Zealand Women 251/9 in 50 overs (Amelia Kerr 66, Sophie Davine (34); Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/61), Deepti Sharma (2/42), Sneh Rana (2/40) lost to India Women 252/4 off 46 overs ( Smriti Mandhana 71, Harmanpreet Kaur 63, Mithali Raj 54 not out; Hannah Rowe 1/41) by six wickets.

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