Suzie Bates was the driving force behind New Zealand’s batswomen’ return to form as they scored 189 for three against Bangladesh in their Women’s T20 World Cup match on Friday at Newlands in Cape Town.
Bates scored 81 runs while remaining unbeaten to become the first woman from any nation to reach 1000 runs in T20 World Cups, overtaking Australia’s Meg Lanning.
The White Ferns had a stunning comeback, scoring the highest total of the tournament after getting bowled out for the two lowest totals in their opening two games (76 against Australia and 67 against South Africa).
New Zealand chose to bat first and amassed the highest total in the tournament so far, 189 for the loss of three wickets. Despite being scoreless in her first two games, Suzie Bates annihilated the Bangladeshi bowlers.
The foundation for New Zealand was set by a first-wicket partnership of 77 runs between Bates and Bernadine Bezuidenhout. Bezuidenhout was dismissed for 44 runs, but Bates made sure to bat all the way to the end.
At the very end, Maddy Green scored 44 runs off 20 balls with seven fours by making effective use of the long handle. For Bangladesh, Fahima Khatun secured two wickets.
Bangladesh’s run chase never got going, as they were eventually held to 118 for the cost of eight wickets. Shorna Akter and Murshida Khatun both scored 30 and 31 runs, but no one else helped them out.
The best bowler for New Zealand was Eden Carson, who finished with 4-0-18-3. Lea Tahuhu and Amelia Kerr both took one wicket, with Hannah Rowe taking two wickets overall.
Contemplating the win, Bates said, “It was a hard place to be in because we just wanted to win the game of cricket and I think we knew today the afternoon game we had to bat first and we’ve talked with this group for the past few months with Ben Sawyer in charge about that 160 target so we thought as a batting group that’s the first goal.”
“If we can play the brand of cricket we want to play and we got in a position where we thought we could push closer to 180, 200 so I think we didn’t have that goal of getting a massive win, it was more about the process of how we were going to do it.
“And fortunately, we put ourselves in a position where we have been able to make some traction on our run rate which keeps us in the tournament and look, we’ll get a shot that last game to maybe push it a bit further so it’s nice to have done what we talked about,” she noted.
Talking about the kind of surface her side experienced and the approach she pulled up, she quoted, “It was just about playing straight for longer today and the wicket really supported that, there was good pace and bounce, it felt like you got value for shot with the outfield, so it allowed me to just stand still and play my natural game.”
“We have found the wickets tough and then we’ve played some tentative cricket which is not what we’re about so I think everyone took some time maybe a few tears or maybe people got angry and just had a hard look at themselves and you know we reconnected and had two really good days of training and I think yesterday batting on these nets we got our confidence back,” she further added.
She then went on to discuss about the kind of feeling Sophie Devine was going through after the earlier results, “I had heard that she got pretty upset and after the game we were both pretty distraught and sort of tried to get together to work out how we were going to move forward as leaders of this team, but she takes everything pretty tough,”
“She’s been one of our best players and she knows that when she performs for the white ferns you know we beat teams she’s that good, so she was frustrated I think it’s been really hard for her but it’s amazing that she’s actually playing,” she added.
“I think every time we come to a World Cup, you know, we have the hope and dreams that will make that semi-final stage and we knew we had Australia and South Africa in the first two games. And we played poor, you know when you can’t turn up for those big matches that’s when it’s so disappointing.
“But look we’re all got perspective back home there’s been cyclones in central North Island and we know it’s just a game. But it does hurt. But we get perspective pretty quickly and we’ve just got a bounce back. No one goes out there intentionally to play like that we’re all trying our hardest and you know we’re all as disappointed as each other,” she commented about get going through the ups and down in a tournament as the T20 World Cup.