White Ferns squeeze 10-run win over India

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The White Ferns opened their campaign with a 10-run win over India at the ICC World Twenty20 at Warner Park St Kitts.

Bates top scored with 32 off 34 deliveries at the top of the order after the White Ferns won the toss and elected to bat.

The rest of the innings was punctuated by middling scores with a number of batsmen getting starts but not kicking on.

Nicola Browne provided some momentum in the middle overs with 24 off 18 balls while Rachel Priest belted 20 off 12 at the end to propel the White Ferns to a respectable total of 139 for eight.

In reply, India lost opener Poonam Raut in the third over before Mithali Raj accelerated the pace by scoring 44 off 36 balls. 

The problem for India was at the other end with the rest of the top and middle order falling cheaply.

The White Ferns bowled tight lines and applied pressure in the field to make the run-rate insurmountable for the Indian tail.

Lucy Doolan and Aimee Watkins were responsible for dulling the attack, taking two for 18 and one for 23 respectively, while new ball bowler Sian Ruck finished with two for 17.

Bates backed up her batting effort with the important wicket of Raj and two run-outs.

Post match comments from Aimee Watkins

On the overall team performance:

"We will definitely take the win but it definitely wasn’t a complete team performance. A few players got starts with the bat and not going on. Also with the ball I think our seamers need to make some real improvements with the games coming up.”

On the batting performance:

“We just moved away from what our plans were a little bit there in the middle stages and ended up losing wickets instead of going through to get 60’s and 70’s.  If batters can get 60’s and 70’s we can post big totals of 150 plus. We ended up getting 140 which was a decent enough total today for us.”

On the bowling performance:

“Definitely our spinners will come into play, especially during pool play at Warner Park. I think our seamers need to make some improvements. The wickets over here are very good batting pitches so the margin for error is pretty small. Those will be the things we will be working on - hitting our yorkers at training and making sure we are not varying out length.”

On the performance of Suzie Bates:

“She is definitely a key player. She was disappointed herself to get out for 32. She knows she should have gone on and got a big one and she is disappointed about that but she is one of those players who can win a game single handedly so making sure that she is in form right through the tournament is very important for us.“

On the importance of this first win for the team:

“We have only got three games in five days so it is important to have a good start and create some momentum for ourselves. Against a team like India who are one of the top four countries in the world at the moment it's good to get that win and get the nerves out of the way and move through forward to pool play, hopefully looking forward to the semis in St Lucia.”

On the upcoming matches against Sri Lanka:

“We don’t really know much about them to be honest. We have got footage of the game from this morning so we will definitely be studying that and trying to get an idea about how they play. These next two games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be a good chance to get some players to have some time in the middle and hopefully they can put us under some pressure and we can really test ourselves.”

 

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