Women's World Cup: Pooja Vastrakar leads India's fightback as New Zealand make 260/9

Pace all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar led a late fightback of India with the ball as New Zealand finished their innings at 260/9 in 50 overs in the eighth match of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup at Seddon Park on Thursday. At one stage, New Zealand were 222/4 in 42 overs and looked set for a tall score.

But Pooja, who took 4/34 in her ten overs, helped pull back things for India with her pin-point yorkers as they conceded just 38 runs in the last eight overs for five wickets. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad bowled well for fetching 2/46 in her ten overs. For New Zealand, vice-captain Amy Satterthwaite top-scored with 75 while Amelia Kerr made exactly a half-century.

Electing to bowl first, India had an early breakthrough as Suzie Bates was run-out via a direct hit from Pooja. Skipper Sophie Devine brought out her counter-attacking game by smashing three boundaries each off Jhulan Goswami and Meghna Singh. Just after powerplay ended, Pooja took out Sophie with a short ball which bounced a bit and was snapped by keeper Richa Ghosh as the right-hander cut it too hard.

Amelia Kerr took her time and then got going as Yastika Bhatia dropped a tough chance of her ay deep square leg off Rajeshwari. Amelia was adept at facing spin of Rajeshwari, Sneh Rana and Deepti Sharma while Amy got into her groove with boundaries off the spinners. Amelia reached her fifty with a single through long-on.

But three balls later, Rajeshwari got her wicket as Amelia missed the sweep completely, bringing the 67-run partnership to a close. Amy continued to come down the pitch and find gaps consistently through the arc between long-off and cover. Amy then stitched a 54-run stand with Maddy Green, who was assertive with her sweep, pull and dabs through the third man.

Amy then reached her fifty with a brace through extra cover. But in the next over, Deepti broke the partnership as Maddy, in a bid to break a boundary-less run of last six overs, holed out to long-on. Amy then got fine support from Katey Martin, who got a reprieve when Pooja dropped a sitter at short third man.

India's fightback in death overs began when Pooja forced Amy to flick in the air and found mid-wicket fielder. Rajeshwari then beat Hayley Jansen on the sweep and hit the stumps. Pooja delivered back-to-back yorkers to take out Lea Tahuhu and Jess Kerr. In the final over of the innings, Jhulan got a scalp against her name as her yorker ended Katey's stay at 41.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 260/9 in 50 overs (Amy Satterthwaite 75, Amelia Kerr 50; Pooja Vastrakar 4/34, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/46) against India

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