NZWvINDW: Despite Smriti Mandhana's Explosive Fifty, India Lost By 23 Runs

| February 6 , 2019 , 12:54 IST

India women’s cricket team lost by 23 runs in the first T20I against New Zealand at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. India's middle order collapsed miserably.

Smriti Mandhana was the lone survivor as she scored the fastest fifty breaking her own record. She took 24 balls to achieve this milestone.

After winning the toss Indian team opted to bowl first and restricted the White Ferns at 159 in 20 overs.

Asked to chase 160 runs by New Zealand, India collapsed from 102/1 to 117/6 in five overs and eventually 136 runs to throw away momentum created by Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues at the top.

Mandhana and Rodrigues’ 98 run stands from 64 balls for the second wicket was undone with the middle order failing to strike miserably.

 In the absence of veteran Mithali Raj, none of the Indian women remained steady under rising run rate and pressure.

Mandhana struck her first T20I fifty since 2014 and seventh overall in Wellington. Her 24-ball fifty is also the fastest for an Indian batswoman in T20Is bettering her own record by a delivery.

She was given strong support at the other end by youngster Rodrigues who scored 39 runs from 33 balls with six boundaries to her name.

Dayalan Hemlatha (3) and Anuja Patil (0) too became her victims with India suddenly going from 102/1 to 111/5.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur persisted for a while including hitting a six to give the visiting team hope for a late revival but those hopes were dashed when Amelie Kerr’s well-flighted delivery deceived Kaur with Martin completing the stumping.

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Taniya Bhatia, Radha Yadav and Deepti Sharma exited in single digits as India women fell apart for 136 runs in the final over.

The 23-run win gave New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series. India women had earlier won the ODIs 2-1 which were part of the ICC Women’s Championship.