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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 18 June 2024

New Zealand vs India: Richa Ghosh dazzles in India gloom

Women in Blue are 0-4 down in the five-match ODI series

Our Bureau Published 23.02.22, 01:13 AM
Richa Ghosh in action

Richa Ghosh in action Getty Images

Captain Mithali Raj accepted that bowling remained a big concern for India Women ahead of the ODI World Cup as the team suffered their fifth straight loss of the ongoing tour of New Zealand.

India, who had begun the tour with a defeat in the one-off T20I, are 0-4 down in the five-match ODI series after the 63-run defeat in Queenstown on Tuesday. The rain-curtailed match was reduced to 20-overs per side. The White Ferns put up 191/5 with Amelia Kerr slamming 68 not out off 33 balls.

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In reply, India were all out for 128 in 17.5 overs, after being 19/4 at one stage.

Wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh stood out for India in the gloom, playing a sparkling and aggressive innings of 52 off 29 balls.

The 18-year-old Siliguri girl brought up her fifty off 26 balls — the fastest by an Indian in women’s ODIs. She bettered the previous mark, set by Rumeli Dhar against Sri Lanka in 2008, by three balls.

At the post-match presentation, Mithali, who made 30 off 28 balls on Tuesday as she revived the India innings briefly with Richa, said: “Our bowling attack is a concern going into the World Cup… We have been trying a few combinations with the seam and spin attack.”

The World Cup too will be hosted by New Zealand and will begin on March 4. Praising Richa, the skipper said: “I was just looking at Richa’s shots and she is a talented and exciting player for the future.”

Richa hit four boundaries and four sixes during her stay at the crease. In a column written for the ICC, Mithali has expressed hope that youngsters like Richa and opener Shafali Verma, also 18, will serve India well in the World Cup.

Brief scores:

NZ Women 191/5 in 20 ovs (Amelia Kerr 68 n.o.). India Women 128 in 17.5 ovs (Richa Ghosh 52, Mithali Raj 30; Amelia Kerr 3/30). NZ Women won by 63 runs.

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