A comprehensive defeat to India denied the White Ferns a place in the semi-finals of ICC Women’s World Cup. Here we evaluate the team’s overall performance.
Beat Sri Lanka by 9 wickets
Match abandoned against South Africa
Lost to Australia by 5 wickets
Beat West Indies by 8 wickets
Beat Pakistan by 8 wickets
Lost to England by 75 runs
Lost to India by 186 runs
What went wrong?
With two games left in the group stage, the White Ferns looked reasonably well placed for semi-final qualification. However, defeats to England and India led to an early flight home – a disappointing result for a team tipped to at least reach the last four. The manner of those losses will have been particularly galling. The Kiwi bowling attack was blown away by Nat Sciver and Tammy Beaumont in a comprehensive England victory at Derby, leaving Suzie Bates’ side with a do-or-die clash against India at the same venue. After Mithali Raj’s sixth ODI ton put the Indians in the driving seat, New Zealand was blown away by the left-arm spin of Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who returned figures of 5/15. With an impressive World Cup pedigree, the White Ferns would have expected better.
Positives to take home?
Bates was impressive as ever with the bat – the Kiwi captain averaging 80.66 with one century and one fifty – and Amy Sattherwaite also offered useful contributions. Sophie Devine produced one of the most memorable innings of the tournament, smashing 93 from 41 deliveries against Pakistan, and breaking the record for the number of sixes (9) in an ODI innings in the process. With the ball, 16-year-old leg-spinner Amelia Kerr has been one of the breakout stars of the tournament. The teenager took 10 wickets, including 4-51 against England, and has an exciting future ahead of her. Fellow spinner Leigh Kasperek also deserves a mention, the off-spinner taking 10 wickets at a miserly economy-rate of 3.65.
Areas for improvement?
The Kiwi batting unit appeared overly reliant on Bates and Sattherwaite and when both fell cheaply in the pivotal fixture against India the rest of the team collapsed like a pack of cards. New Zealand had no problems against the lower-ranked sides, dispatching them with ease, but when it came to the crunch, the team was found wanting.