• Devine: “I back my ability and we all back our skillsets. It’s almost high-risk not to play your own brand of cricket”
Falling seven runs short of one of the quickest ever Women’s ODI centuries would likely be a major disappointment for most. For Sophie Devine, it was barely worth a shrug.
The New Zealand batter delivered a striking masterclass in her ICC Women’s World Cup clash with Pakistan on Saturday, striking a one-day international record nine sixes in her 93 from just 41 balls.
It eclipsed the previous record of seven, and made a chase of 145 an ease for the White Ferns, getting the better of Pakistan by eight wickets with 35 overs to spare at Taunton.
Striking through the ball straight and to the legside looked effortless from the 27-year-old, though the batter herself insisted she wasn’t counting her way to history in the middle.
“100 is just a number,” she said. “It’s funny how seven more runs is a big deal, but at the end of the day a win is the most important thing in the World Cup.
“A lot of work goes in behind the scenes, my physique probably lends itself to more power-hitting in the game, but it was just my day.
“It’s pretty simple, for Rachel (Priest, who hit 90 in the last game against West Indies) and I we see the ball and whack it. It’s funny how you can complicate the game of cricket, but we were keeping it simple and enjoying ourselves out there.
“I back my ability and we all back our skillsets. It’s almost high-risk not to play your own brand of cricket and that’s what we’ve been working on.
Lots of the White Ferns' work was done earlier in the contest, as Pakistan was bowled out for just 144 as five different bowlers took wickets.
That included ICC WWC debutant Hannah Rowe, taking a career-best three for 22 to earn her the player-of-the-match award, while Lea Tahuhu, Leigh Kasperek and Amelia Kerr all took two each.
Importantly it was New Zealand’s third win of the competition, taking it one step closer to the semi-finals after an almost-perfect win.
“It’s nice to put a pretty complete performance together, to bowl a side out on that sort of wicket is very pleasing and Rowie (Hannah Rowe) deserved that player of the match award," added Devine.
“This is the style of cricket we want to play – we’re attacking with both the bat and ball and we’ve been able to get that result.
“We back these young ones coming in, we know the talent and potential that they’ve got, so it’s fun to see them out there and performing on the world stage.
“We know they can do it, so it’s awesome to see different people stepping up each game.”