Priest leads Kiwis to T20 series win against Indian eves

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Bengaluru, July 13 (IANS) Rachel Priest (60, 34b, 10×4, 2×6) powered New Zealand to a thumping six-wicket win over India to help the visitors take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match women’s T20 series, here on Monday.

As in the previous game, the Indian batting fell apart as the hosts were pegged to 136 for six in their 20 overs with Vanitha Vellaswamy (41, 39b, 4×4) being the lead scorer. In reply, the Kiwis made 139 for four in 17.5 overs despite losing skipper Suzie Bates to the second ball of their innings.

The Indians never really recovered from a poor start that saw skipper and opener Mithali Raj (1) and Latika Kumari (4) falling by the second over.

Vanitha and Harmanpreet Kaur (30, 28b, 6×4) led a brief recovery with a 47-run partnership, but the Indians lost wickets at regular intervals thereafter to be restricted to a modest total with Veda Krishnamurthy (29) chipping in usefully at the tail-end of the innings.

The Kiwis too were off to a poor start as they were reduced to 19 for two, but with Priest blasting away, the visitors recovered quickly. Priest and Leigh Kasperek (15) added 71 runs for the third wicket and the partnership turned the game around.

Though both Kasperek and Priest departed in quick succession, Amy Satterthwaite (24 not out) and Katie Perkins (23 not out) put on 47 runs for the unfinished fifth wicket to carry Kiwis home.

The two teams meet again in the third and final match of the series on Wednesday at the same venue before the Kiwis round off their tour of India, who won the recent One-Day International (ODI) series 3-2.

Brief scores:

India 136 for 6 in 20 overs (Vanitha Vellaswamy 41, Harmanpreet Kaur 30, Veda Krishnamurthy 29, Sophie Devine 2 for 31) lost to New Zealand 139 for 4 in 17.5 overs (Rachel Priest 60, Amy Satterthwaite 24 not out, Katie Perkins 23 not out, Jhulan Goswami 2 for 29).

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