Cuttack (Odisha), Feb 5: In Group B fixture, in front of lively crowd at DRIEMS Cricket Ground, old foes New Zealand took on Australia in a match that saw Jodie Fields’ side come out the victor after a smashing 112 from Meg Lanning who struck 17 boundaries in her performance.
Having sent the New Zealand side into bat, Fields had the side four down by the 12th over with just 39 on the board after Megan Schutt dismissed Lucy Doolan, Amy Satterthwaite and in-form Sophie Devine, while Julie Hunter sent Sara McGlashan packing.
It was then up to captain Suzie Bates to save the innings alongside Katie Perkins and Nicola Browne. Perkins and Bates played a series of great shots, much to the crowds delight, but Perkins dive for the crease fell short when the 24-year-old was run-out by Schutt.
Bates departed for 102 while Browne’s 39 helped add to a respectable total at the DRIEMS ground, one that the White Ferns’ felt was probably defendable, had it not been for the superb batting skills of Meg Lanning and Jess Cameron.
Lea Tahuhu clean bowled Rachael Haynes early in the innings but Lanning and Cameron set their minds to securing victory for the Southern Stars. The duo added a huge 182 runs before Cameron departed at the hands of Sian Ruck.
By that point the Australians were well on their way and when Player of the Match Lanning departed to Rachel Candy the side needed just 14 more runs, which veterans Lisa Sthalekar and Alex Blackwell ensured were knocked off the total to make it three wins out of three for the Australians as they head into the Super Six stages.
Lanning was pleased to have contributed so highly to the innings: “I think the pitch played out pretty well throughout the match and it was a better batting wicket than the one we played on against South Africa. Myself and Jess Cameron were happy to be out there batting through the afternoon, it was a good bit flatter and it was good to make the most of it.”
Fields admitted there were a few things the side needed to work on ahead of the Super Sixes: “I think it’s just a few one-percenters we need to improve upon going forward. We had a few fumbles out in the middle and a few overthrows and things like that can’t happen in the Super Sixes against teams like England, like West Indies – those players don’t give you room for error – so we just have to remain positive moving forward.”
Bates was obviously disappointed with the loss but happy to have qualified for the Super Sixes: “We would have obviously liked to have finished today with a win and we had a disappointing second innings especially after we had grafted so hard to get a good total on the board after losing wickets early on.
“Our bowling and fielding let us down today and, no discredit to Meg Lanning and Jess Cameron, we weren’t up to scratch and in these matches all three aspects have to be firing.”
Looking ahead to the Super Sixes Bates admitted it was now about treating every game like a knock-out: “All the teams who reach the Super Sixes deserve to be there and they will all prove tough on any given day.
She said: “As a side every game needs to be treated like a knock-out in the Super Sixes and I’d say England is probably the side that will prove to be one of the toughest in this side of the tournament for us. We’ve faced them a lot but we know we need to play consistently good cricket against all the sides to win Cricket World Cups. It’s all about consistency.” (ANI)