Hamilton: An all-round show by Sophie Devine helped New Zealand defeat India by two runs to sweep the three match women’s Twenty20 International series here on Sunday.
India required 16 runs off the final over and Mithali Raj needed to hit a four off the final ball but Leigh Kasperek held her nerve to concede just one run, according to the ICC’s website.
A tight 19th over from Devine was as vital, as she conceded just seven runs in their defence of 161/7, as India, despite an entertaining 86 from Smriti Mandhana, finished short on 159/4.
Devine, having made 72 off 52 balls, got the big wickets of Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues to finish with 2/21.
It was Mandhana’s second fifty of the series as well, and her fourth fifty-plus score in the last six matches across formats. Her second wicket partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues set the tone.
They kept the boundaries coming, never letting the required run-rate get out of control, and adjusting well to the constant bowling changes to reach 76 in nine overs.
When Mandhana was finally dismissed, caught by Lea Tahuhu off Devine in the 16th over, the equation was down to 39 needed off 27. However, in the face of tight bowling, it proved too much for India.
The experienced Mithali, recalled to the side to provide some stability in the middle order, did exactly that after the wickets of Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur, adding 24 not out off 20. Deepti Sharma did her bit with 21 not out off 16, including a six, but they couldn’t take their side over the line.
Earlier, opting to bat, New Zealand scored 161/7.
Brief scores: New Zealand 161/7 (Sophie Devine 72; Deepti Sharma 2/28) against India: 159/4 (Smriti Mandhana 86; Sophie Devine 2/21)