NZ vs Ind: Happy to be back in form before World Cup: Smriti Mandhana

Queenstown: India batter Smriti Mandhana expressed happiness after her performance helped her side in defeating New Zealand in the fifth and final ODI here at the John Davies Oval, Queenstown on Thursday.

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Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur starred with the bat as India defeated New Zealand by six wickets in the fifth and final ODI.

“I think our bowlers did a fantastic job by restricting them to 250. The wicket was a good one to bat one, so all the batters contributed as we got a good win. I am happy that I am back to form before the World Cup. I think this series was a big advantage for the whole team before the World Cup,” said Smriti Mandhana after the game.

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“We have had quite close matches, and all the girls are confident going into the World Cup. This win will help us and hopefully, we will take the confidence and momentum into the World Cup,” she added.

New Zealand started the innings with their mercurial opening pair of Sophie DeVine and Suzie Bates. However, Bates lost her wicket early. Amelia Kerr continued her amazing performances in this series with a 66-run outing, but DeVine and Amy Satterthwaite couldn’t establish long partnerships with Kerr. India took 5 wickets in the last 15 overs of the game to restrict NZ to a total of 251 runs.

India’s built off their strong showing with the bat this series prior to the fourth ODI. Smriti Mandhana led from the front with a 71-run showing even after Shafali Verma and Deepti Sharma’s early wickets.

After Mandhana was caught out in the 29th over, captain Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur had an 80-run stand for almost 14 overs which put India in a commanding position. Raj finished the series off with a boundary to give India a much-needed win to salvage the series.

With this win, India registered their first win of the series, but the White Ferns took the ODI series 4-1.

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