Clinical India women secure series after eight-wicket hammering of New Zealand
Smriti Mandhana's unbeaten 90 powered India's chase on Tuesday.

Unbeaten half-centuries from Smriti Mandhana and former captain Mithali Raj guided India women to a series win against New Zealand in the second ODI at the Bay Oval. The spinners continued to torment New Zealand with Ekta Bisht and Poonam Yadav picking up two wickets each. Veteran fast bowler Jhulan Goswami contributed with 3 for 23 and together, they floored New Zealand women for 162, a target which India chased down to win the match by eight wickets.

The win gives India women a 2-0 unassailable lead in the series with one game to go. Mandhana, who had scored her fourth ODI century in the previous game, was sensational once again to remain unbeaten on 90 off 83 balls with 13 boundaries and one six. She combined for an unbeaten 146-run association with Raj for the third wicket, and even though the former skipper struggled to pick up pace initially, she finished on 62 off 110 by hitting a six to finish off the match.

India lost Jemimah Rodrigues for a duck, and Deepti Sharma shortly after for 8 to leave India women in early trouble at 16 for 2. But Mandhana, who has been in scintillating form took over the anchor role for yet another chase. She scored at almost a run-a-ball to bring up her half-century off 54 deliveries. Raj, however struggled to get going, her score reading 16 off 60 balls at one stage before finally finding her groove. Mithali hit a six off Amelia Kerr over long on to give India the win.

India women had won the toss and opted to bowl. Not surprisingly, the call was proven right when Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey removed openers Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine cheaply. Skipper Amy Sattherwaite played a lone fighting hand of 71 off 87 balls with nine boundaries but wickets falling continuously at one end meant New Zealand couldn t push towards a bigger total.

Leigh Kasperek s 21 was the next best effort with the bat as Indi s spinner came to the fore. Yadav got the big breakthrough, dismissing Sattherwaite to go with the wicket of Maddy Green, cleaning her up, while Bisht sent back Kerr and Lauren Down. Goswami returned to clean up Kasperek and last batter Lea Tahuhu to bowl New Zealand out in the 45th over.

Brief Scores: India Women 166/2 in 35.2 overs (Mandhana 90*, Raj 63*) beat New Zealand Women 161 in 44.2 overs (Satterthwaite 71; Goswami 2-23) by eight wickets.