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“Need To Be Better But A Good First Step For Us” – Sophie Devine

Tammy Beaumont, up with a massive 97-run knock this Wednesday and England was off the mark to register a thumping win against New Zealand, thus slating their highest score in T20I i.e. 184 at the loss of 4. Sophie Devine described the defeat as a “hefty” one and the standard of fielding shown was really “rusty”.

It was disappointing for the White Ferns to foresee such drowning results with Devine and Suzie bates settling for single figures, and Amy Satterthwaite striving hard to put a fight up and keep the hopes alive by finally walking back into the pavilion with a hard-earned 43.

However, considering where Devine has been as of late, she saw a lot of positives in the match at Chelmsford, the first of three T20Is with England which will be trailed by a five-match one-day series. “It probably wasn’t my greatest game,” the New Zealand skipper, Sophie Devine said and pointed, “It was ok with the ball but pretty average in the field and with the bat, disappointed not to get more runs, but it’s more than that for me.”

All things considered, Devine is under no illusions about her group’s need to tidy themselves off energetically before the upcoming match, at Hove on Saturday, which will be just their second international fixture since April. She noted, “It’s our first game in quite a few months, as long as we’re trending in the right direction, that’s what we’re really focused on.”

She saw empowering things in Satterthwaite’s innings, the presentation of Hayley Jensen, who took 2 for 26 and scored 16 off 11, and the purpose shown by a lower order of Thamsyn Newton, Hannah Rowe and Jess Kerr regardless of a required run rate that had become impossible.”We know we need to be better but it’s a really good first step for us,” Devine said.

“There was definitely a bit of rust and hopefully, we get that rolling pretty quickly because we don’t have long between matches here and certainly with the 50-over games; they’re going to roll around super quick. We’re going to have to learn and adapt really quickly but, I think, there’s been some real positive starts for us,” she added.

For England, the advantages of falling off a full summer schedule, including their multi-format series with India and the Hundred, were apparent. While Devine missed the Hundred, where she had been due to captain Birmingham Phoenix, the semblance of TashFarrant – the competition’s leading wicket-taker – and third-highest run-scorer Sophia Dunkley selected for England from the last known point of interest when the T20 competition finished 11 days earlier.

Farrant caught Sophie Devine LBW for 2 with her fourth ball of the match and took a screamer of a catch to excuse Maddy Green, who had put on a key and vital partnership worth 48 with Satterthwaite. Dunkley, getting promoted to No. 5 with Heather Knight out nursing a hamstring injury, made an unbeaten 23 off 17. Yet, it was Beaumont who took the charge to rule after being fairly disappointed in The Hundred, where she oversaw two scores of 42 for London Spirit without delivering a genuinely large inning.

“Once I got to fifty, I just started having fun,” Beaumont said on her latest knock and further added, “I was quite disappointed in the Hundred that I didn’t play more match-winning innings and kept getting to 40, feeling really good and then getting out. I wanted to be more clinical and ruthless in this series and if I got a start make sure it’s more of a contribution to a winning cause.”

England had seven days off after the Hundred in a redirection from their standard groundwork for an international series, yet Beaumont believed it had served them well, as had the Hundred for hurling candidates for England selection.

They incorporate all-rounder Emma Lamb, who was a late call-up into the side when Maia Bouchier and Charlie Dean were ruled out of the opening match as conceivable COVID-19 contacts and afterwards brought into the squad when Knight was injured, in spite of the fact that Lamb didn’t face or bowl a ball on her debut.

“You can see that we’ve played a lot of cricket recently and it’s good to be playing this well against a team as good as New Zealand,” Beaumont said. “You don’t need a big build-up to these things if people are in form and performing and can get in the right mindset.”

“Look at the squad that’s been picked. Tash Farrant has quite literally forced her way into the XI through amazing performances, Sophia Dunkley was in brilliant form for Southern Brave, Emma Lamb found herself in the squad and then, due to Heather’s injury, in the team. People are knocking down the door and you have to be playing well to stay in the team or get in the team, so I think that’s a good thing from the Hundred.”



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