New Zealand 275 (Bates 106, Satterthwaite 63) beat India 213 (Raj 59, Bhatia 41, Jess Kerr 4-35) by 62 runs
An all-round performance helped New Zealand thrash India by 62 runs in the first of the five-match women’s ODI series in the windy Queenstown. Centurion Suzie Bates shouldered the responsibility alongside Amy Satterthwaite to guide New Zealand to a competitive total of 275. Pacer Jess Kerr starred with four wickets to bowl India out for 213.
New Zealand’s total would have swelled to 300, but India struck with a flurry of wickets towards the end of the innings – after picking up just three for the first 223 runs – to bowl the hosts out in 48.1 overs. By then, Bates and Satterthwaite, who scored 106 and 63 respectively, had accumulated the bulk of runs and inflicted the damage.
Asked to bat first, New Zealand made a steady start with Bates and Maddy Green sharing a 54-run opening stand. Offspinner Deepti Sharma broke the partnership when Green was caught at the first slip for 17 in the 13th over. Bates made the most of her drop in the fourth over, off Pooja Vastrakar, on 1 to notch up her 11th ODI century. Her 111-ball innings comprised ten fours as she remained proactive throughout the innings.
Bates has not had an easy ride in the last 12-15 months. Since returning to international cricket in September last year after her shoulder injury in November 2020, she had scored 57 runs in five ODIs before the ongoing home series against India. Having opted to skip the WBBL, Bates shifted her focus to playing more matches back home to fine-tune her game in the lead up to the ODI World Cup in March. She accumulated 218 runs in six one-dayers, averaging 43, and finished the Super Smash T20 tournament as the highest run-getter: 504 runs in 12 matches.
All the hard yards that she had put in at the domestic level was visible on Saturday, when she punished the Indian bowlers with ease, concentrating more on the legside to score the majority of her runs.
After putting on 52 runs with Amelia Kerr for the second wicket, Bates shared a crucial 98-run stand with the left-handed Satterthwaite, who brought up her 25th ODI half-century. En route, the 35-year-old Satterthwaite also became the first player to score 2000 runs in ODIs in New Zealand.
That India were sloppy in the field didn’t help them either. Barring Harmanpreet Kaur, all the Indian bowlers were among the wickets with Deepti, Vastrakar, Jhulan Goswami and Rajeshwari Gayakwad accounting for two apiece, and Poonam Yadav picking up one. However, seven of those wickets came in the last 10 overs.
With experienced batter Smriti Mandhana also missing the first match due to quarantine in New Zealand, India toiled to chase down a 250-plus score with Mithali Raj putting up a lone fight.
There were early jitters, with the visitors losing both their openers cheaply – including the debutant S Meghana – inside the powerplay. However, Raj and Yastika Bhatia brought some stability – albeit rather briefly – with a partnership of 88 runs for the third wicket. Raj top-scored for India with 59 off 73 balls – her 60th fifty in ODIs – while Bhatia made a 63-ball 41.
The team then witnessed a mini-collapse, going from 105 for 2 to 165 for 6, as New Zealand kept their line and length accurate. With both experienced batters Raj and Kaur, who made a 22-ball 10, dismissed by the 33rd over – courtesy Jess Kerr, India more or less, were knocked out of the game.
Srinidhi Ramanujam is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo