Maddy Green, ace White Ferns batter, has promised a full-court attack against Sri Lanka as they attempt to maintain their tenuous T20 World Cup semi-final aspirations.
The White Ferns were on the danger of being eliminated after losing their first two games before they came back to upset Bangladesh on Saturday by a score of 71 runs.
While still in the race to advance out of their group, New Zealand must defeat Sri Lanka in their final game, improve their run rate, and cross their fingers that other assessments go their way.
And Green, who rediscovered her form against Bangladesh by scoring 44 unbeaten, thinks that the White Ferns still have faith as long as there is a chance.
“Winning is the nicest feeling and so well it goes… just try to play a positive kind of cricket and leaving it all out there so really pleased with the performance yesterday. We are looking to continue that momentum tomorrow,” says Green as her team readies itself for the last league match against Sri Lanka.
She appreciates the kind of cricket their top-order has displayed Bernadine Bezuidenhout and Suzie Bates who were ‘really impressive’ against Bangladesh. “Suzie has been so well and I think she has got those high standards,” she noted.
“She was naturally disappointed with her first two performances but at the same time we all know how she has been for such a long period of time. She is such a great player, and she has been probably the best player for New Zealand over such a long period of time.
“Really enjoyed batting with Suzie in the middle,” a cherished Maddy stated as she again praised the top order that set a platform for the middle order to take over. “We know that there is only one way to play, and that is attacking.”
“We’ve got to try to boost our run-rate as quickly as possible. We’ve spoken about just trying to score as many runs and put as many on the board as we can and play a style of cricket that reflects that,” she continued.
She also went on to point, “I thought the wicket against Bangladesh was fantastic from a batting point of view. So that really helped us from that regard. And we know against Sri Lanka, we’ve got to try to put on a similar performance if we’ve got any sort of chance of making those semi-finals and the rest of it is sort of out of our control.”
In the Women’s T20I Rankings, Sri Lanka is placed five spots lower than New Zealand, however it is positioned higher in the group standings. Green is not shocked by how well they have played and wins over South Africa and Bangladesh have set them in prime position to advance to the semi-finals.
“I think they are a side that has got some great players,” she said and further continued, “Obviously, their captain, Chamari Athapaththu, has been a really good player for a long period of time and I think her ability to have an impact on the game just goes up the shorter the format is.”
“We know that she hits the ball really hard, and I think her performance against South Africa in their first game, she was absolutely fantastic and she’s a really key wicket for us. I think they have got some really good bowlers on their side who bowl with a lot of accuracy and make it difficult to score. So, it is about how we counteract that and put some pressure back on their bowlers,” she added.
In meantime, with a victory, Sri Lanka will probably advance to the semi-finals of the Women’s T20 World Cup for the first time ever. Athapaththu is certain they can defeat New Zealand if they replicate their prior results despite the fact that they lost their most recent encounter with Australia by a score of 10 wickets.
“We are in good position. We have to keep doing the same things in the next game and try to play positive cricket,” she commented, “Obviously, New Zealand at this tournament have struggled, we know that, but we never underestimate them because they have a lot of good players.”
“I always say to my team “play your natural game don’t take any pressure for the last game, because anything can happen in this format,” especially the T20 format so we stick with our plan we back our skills and play our natural game. That’s it,” she concluded.
Following the team’s training in Stellenbosch this morning, White Ferns skipper, Sophie Devine shared, “I am obviously really proud of this group as it has bounced back from some pretty difficult performances against Australia. I think Suzie is an outstanding player. Maddy Green was outstanding as well. We know we have to show something similar against Sri Lanka.”
“We have to go out there and put impact with the bat as well as with the ball,” she further added and emphasized on the learning that they have been through in the tournament and they are confident and capable enough to repeat the same momentum that they have collected in the previous match.