Auckland, Feb 8: New Zealand women took an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-T20I series after beating India by 4 wickets in a last ball thriller at the Eden Park here on Friday.
Chasing a meagre 136, the White Ferns rode Suzie Bates’s magnificent 52-ball 62, and overcame a late scare from the Indian bowlers, before overhauling the target in the final delivery of the innings.
New Zealand got off to a sound 33-run start with Sophie Devine (19) and Bates putting on 33 runs for the opening wicket before captain Amy Satterthwaite (23) and Bates added 61 runs for the fourth wicket to lay the platform for the chase.
While India managed to put the brakes by dismissing Satterthwaite, Bates and Anna Peterson (0) in quick succession, wicketkeeper Katey Martin (13) and the lower order pair of Leigh Kasperek (4 not out) and Hannah Rowe (4 not out) kept their nerves to drag the hosts home.
For the tourists, Arundhati Reddy and Radha Yadav took two wickets apiece while Mansi Joshi and Poonam Yadav chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier, after being put in to bat, India overcame the early loss of opener Priya Punia (4), with the in-form duo of Smriti Mandhana (36) and Jemimah Rodrigues (72) putting on a solid 63-run second wicket stand to lay the platform.
While Rodrigues showed her class by hanging around for 53 balls and striking six boundaries and a six, after the departure of Mandhana, the rest of the India batters even failed to reach the double digits.
While Dayalan Hemalatha was retired hurt after scoring a couple of runs, the likes of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (5),A Deepti Sharma (6), Arundhati Reddy (3) failed to provide any support to the 18-year-old Rodrigues, before eventually ending up on 135/6.
With the series already out of hand, India will now aim to end the series and the tour on a high by winning the third and final T20I at Hamilton on Sunday.
Brief Scores: India Women 136/6: (Jemimah Rodrigues 72, Smriti Mandhana 36; Rosemary Mair 2/17) lost to New Zealand Women 136/6 (Suzie Bates 62, Amy Satterthwaite 23, Sophie Devine 19; Arundhati Reddy 2/22) by 4 wickets.