The White Ferns began the super-six stage of the ICC Women’s World Cup in style, recording an emphatic eight wicket win over Sri Lanka at the Bandra Kurla Complex stadium in Mumbai, India.
Having won the toss and opted to bowl first, the White Ferns put in a clinical display with the ball and dismissed Sri Lanka for 103 after 42 overs. In reply, the New Zealand side cruised to their target, losing just two wickets to claim the victory after just 23 overs.
Keeping wickets in hand at the top of the order was key for the White Ferns and they comfortably did so, with Suzie Bates (37) and Frances Mackay (39*) putting on 71 for the opening wicket.
The pair all but secured the game for their side, playing sensibly to end any hopes of an upset that Sri Lanka might have had.
Bates fell in the 16th over and was followed almost immediately after by Amy Satterthwaite, but that would be the last New Zealand wicket to fall, as Sophie Devine came in and ended proceedings with an entertaining 29 not out off 30 balls.
Mackay played her natural game throughout the innings and was very rarely made to look uncomfortable by the Sri Lankan bowlers. Devine too played freely and slammed a six to surpass the target.
Earlier, Lea Tahuhu had set up the easy chase with a brilliant display of bowling which saw her finish with figures of four for 27 off ten overs.
Her first delivery of the day dismissed opener Yasoda Mendis for a duck – the start of a very effective spell for the White Ferns. Seamer Sian Ruck also got in on the action and together they had Sri Lanka reeling at four for 23.
Dilani Manodara put up some resistance with the bat and top-scored for her side with a patient 34. She was only one of four players to reach double digits, but at least gave her bowlers a triple digit total to defend.
Frances Mackay got in on the action with two wickets in her six overs for 18 runs, while Ruck had match analysis of three for 16 from ten overs.
Tahuhu though was the main strike weapon and took the last wicket at the end of the 42nd over to make it a four wicket bag and collect the Player of the Match award.
It’s a crucial win for New Zealand, who now hold second place alongside the West Indies – their next opponent on Monday night.
It’s so far so good in the Super-Six stage for the White Ferns and they’ll be desperate to continue their winning ways.