Bengaluru : Half centuries by openers Suzie Bates and Rachel Priest and their 125-run opening partnership carried New Zealand to a comfortable six-wicket win over India for a 2-1 lead in their five-match women's One-Day International (ODI) series here on Friday.
Skipper Bates (59, 87b, 7x4) and Priest 64 (101b, 7x4, 1x6), after surviving a few close calls early in their respective knocks, waded through the Indian attack to set up the victory as the Kiwis overhauled the home team's total of 182 for nine.
India put up a seemingly challenging total as skipper Mithali Raj (30), Veda Krishnamurthy (61, 85b, 6x4) who batted with confidence and panache, and Deepti Sharma (22) held the innings together.
Krishnamurthy and Sharma were involved in a 71-run stand for the fifth wicket before the Kiwis checked the progress, although a small cameo by Niranjana Nanjappa (12 off seven balls) took India past the 180-run mark.
However, the target proved grossly inadequate as Bates and Priest made light of the Indian bowling with their century-strong opening partnership to effectively seal the issue. Although the hosts grabbed a couple of quick wickets, the Kiwis were not to be denied.
New Zealand, thus, staged a fine comeback after losing the series opener to win the next two games for a 2-1 advantage. The fourth match is scheduled for Monday and the series will conclude on Wednesday before the teams play three T20 games.
India 182 for 9 in 50 overs (Mithali Raj 30, Veda Krishnamurthy 61, Deepti Sharma 22, Sophie Devine 3 for 30) lost to New Zealand 186 for 4 in 45.4 overs (Suzie Bates 59, Rachel Priest 62, Amy Satterhwaite 22)