Had already decided to bat positively, says Devine
The New Zealand batter says the pitch was a good one and Frances Mackay took a lot of pressure off her
Suzie Bates is happy with the team's performance against South Africa after they faced a crushing defeat against West Indies.
New Zealand had the upper hand for a majority of its match against South Africa at the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in Galle on Friday. The margin of victory not only made up slightly for its mishap in the opening game against West Indies, but also indicated the side's ability to bounce back after being pushed to a corner.
"We were a little nervous coming into the game for sure," said Suzie Bates, the New Zealand captain. "It is such a relief to get back on track. It is a World Cup and you do expect the teams to come hard at you. It was good that we exhibited tremendous positivity and got the right result going into the last game."
Sophie Devine came up with a brilliant all-round performance. Her knock of 59 set the tone for New Zealand to post a competitive total. "I had already decided that I had to bat positively no matter what," she said. "I was also helped by the fact that it was a very good pitch to bat on. I think Frances [Mackay] took a lot of pressure off me."
Despite the win, Bates was slightly disappointed at the margin of win, 22 runs. "I think we were a little sloppy on the field,” she said. “We shouldn't have given away a few extra runs in the end, but overall pretty happy."
Mignon du Preez, the South African captain, rued dropping Devine on 7, something that she felt made the difference between the two sides in the end. "I think we thought 150 was gettable, but I didn't have the best day on the field,” she said. “We dropped Devine twice and she made us pay. That could have been the difference.”
Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, South Africa looked keen to get on with the game. du Preez said the strategy was deliberate, given that teams could be separated only by a few decimal points at the end of the group stages. "If you're going down, better to go down giving yourself an opportunity to score some runs too,” she said. “No point just batting out the overs."
Despite the loss, South Africa still has a chance to progress through to the semi-final if it wins its last match. "We know we have to win, but who knows, it could all boil down to a net-run-rate situation against West Indies,” said du Preez. “It is definitely not over yet.”