Bengaluru : The visiting New Zealand women’s cricket team is just one win away from clinching its first-ever One-Day International (ODI) series against India, whom them face in the fourth and penultimate game here on Monday, leading 2-1 in the five-match rubber.
Led ably by Suzie Bates, the Kiwis showed a lot of character to shrug off a defeat in the first match of the series to win the next two, outplaying Mithali Raj’s Indian side in all departments of the game.
In fact, Bates led from the front with a half-century in the third match on Friday while putting on a record opening wicket partnership of 125 with Rachel Priest as the Kiwis hunted down India’s total of 182 for the loss of just four wickets and in the 46th over.
As such, the Indians, who will be under pressure, have their task cut out on the morrow if they hope to draw level with the Kiwis who seem to be gaining stature with every outing.
Some of India’s several weak points revolve around their batting that has struggled in the absence of a solid opening and a steady middle-order. Their fielding too was again exposed with catches put down, both in the outfield and close-in.
The Kiwis have needed no second invitation to take charge and this the visitors have done with aplomb with their bowling looking sharper and the batters faring better than their counterparts.
Going into Monday’s game, the Kiwis appear better placed in terms of confidence and match sharpness while the Indians will have to do most of the running to catch up with the visitors.