World Cup Warm-ups: India swat aside West Indies, New Zealand hammer Australia
New Zealand (L) and India (R) © Getty Images
With just three days to go for the World Cup 2022, all the participating nations are testing each other in the warm-ups to figure out their best possible playing XIs before the rumble. India beat West Indies in Rangiora in their second warm-up fixture, while New Zealand pummeled Australia in high-scoring affair in Lincoln on Tuesday (March 1).
India vs West Indies, Rangiora – India won by 81 runs
Half-centuries from Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma and a disciplined bowling display helped India trounce the West Indies by 81 runs. India have won both their warm-ups and are looking in good rhythm before their opening game against Pakistan on March 6.
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, India were jolted early as Shafali Verma failed to trouble the scorers and was dismissed by Chinelle Henry for a duck. But then both Mandhana and Sharma got together in the middle and stitched 117 runs together to make up for the early setback.
Mandhana, who was struck on the head by a Shabnim Ismail bouncer in the previous warm-up game, scored 66 runs, including seven boundaries and looked in her elements.
While Mandhana played the aggressor's role, Sharma was sedate as the number three batter as she relied more on the rotation of strike and dealt in singles and twos to keep the West Indian bowlers at bay. Skipper Mithali Raj and the young sensation Yastika Bhatia also played a few attractive strokes but got out after getting off to good starts.
India were eventually bowled out for 258 in 50 overs; medium pacer Cherry Ann Fraser was the pick of the West Indian bowlers as she picked up two wickets for 24 runs in five overs.
Chasing 259 to win, West Indies got off to a miserable start as they lost their top four batters with just 53 runs on the board. The Indian bowlers bowled well in tandem, applied relentless pressure on the Windies batters, and never allowed them to get off the hook.
Although Hayley Matthews and Shemaine Campbelle showed some resistance with the bat and put on a 69-run stand, it went in vain as none of the other batters managed to contribute. Pooja Vastrakar bowled exceedingly well and claimed a three-fer in her seven overs giving away just 21 runs. Deepti Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Meghna Singh bagged two wickets each.
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Australia vs New Zealand, Lincoln – New Zealand won by nine wickets
In another fixture, the White Ferns asked Australia to bat first after winning the toss in Lincoln. Australia lost Rachael Haynes early but the trio of Alyssa Healy, skipper Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney struck fifties and propelled the side to a big score. Lanning, in particular, played brilliantly and scored 87 runs, including nine fours and two sixes.
After the trio got out, the onus of injecting the final boost fell on the responsible shoulders of the power-hitter Ashleigh Gardner, and she didn't disappoint as usual. She smashed a quickfire 6o at a phenomenal strike rate of 187.50 and made sure that Australia finished well. The lower order made some useful contributions and helped Australia reach 321. Hannah Rowe was the standout performer for New Zealand with the ball as she picked up a four-wicket haul and finished with figures of four for 49 in her ten overs.
In reply, New Zealand got off to a flyer as both Suzie Bates and skipper Sophie Devine smashed the Aussie bowlers to all parts of the park. Although Bates was dismissed at 63, it wasn't enough to restrain the White Ferns' onslaught. Amelia Kerr joined Devine in the middle and picked up from where Bates left and kept pounding the Aussie attack.
Devine looked in a menacing touch as she hammered the Australians and scored an unbeaten 161. Her sensational knock included 23 fours and four maximums. On the other hand, Kerr continued her magnificent form with the willow, piled on the misery for the Lanning's side, and scored an unbeaten 92. The Kerr-Devine duo put together 206 runs and helped their side romp home by nine wickets.
India 258/10 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 66, Deepti Sharma 51; Cherry-Ann Fraser 2/24) beat West Indies 177 for nine in 50 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 63, Hayley Matthews 44; Pooja Vastrakar 3/21) by 81 runs
Australia 321/10 in 49.3 overs (Meg Lanning 87, Alyssa Healy 64; Hannah Rowe 4/49) lost to New Zealand 325 for 1 in 43.1 overs (Sophie Devine 161*, Amelia Kerr 92*; Alana King 1/48) by nine wickets