Smriti stars in India’s 9-wkt win over New Zealand in tour opener

Napier: India rode on opener Smriti Mandhana’s fourth ODI ton and a disciplined bowling effort from the spin twins of Ekta Bisht and Poonam Yadav to outclass New Zealand by 9 wickets in the first ICC Women’s Championship One-day International at the McLean Park here on Thursday.

Smriti, the 2018 ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, continued from where she left last year, as she belted a 104-ball 105, comprising nine fours and three sixes, and was engaged in a 190-run opening stand with teenager Jemimah Rodrigues (81 not out) to power the visitors home with 17 overs to spare.

Earlier, opting to field, the women-in-blue rode on inspirational bowling from the spin trio of Ekta, Poonam and Deepti Sharma to bowl out New Zealand for 192, despite Suzie Bates (36) and Sophie Devine (28) putting on 61 for the opening wicket.

The home skipper Amy Satterthwaite scored a fluent 31 while Amelia Kerr (28) and Hannah Rowe (25) failed to convert their start to bigger scores.

The Indian spinners took eight wickets between them, with Ekta (3/32) and Poonam (3/42) taking three wickets each, while Deepti ended with an economical 2/27.

Thursday’s win was another fine show of dominance by the Indians and a perfect start under their new coach W.V. Raman.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 192 (Suzie Bates 36, Amy Satterthwaite 31; Ekta Bisht 3/32, Poonam Yadav 3/42) lose to India 193/1 (Smriti Mandhana 105, Jemimah Rodrigues 81 not out) by 9 wickets.