New Zealand finally pulled off a win against England this summer, at the 6th time of asking, as a gutsy run-a-ball hundred from Sophie Devine saw them chase a slightly under-par 219, after England were bowled out batting first at Leicester.
We’ve been saying all along in this series that with New Zealand if you get Bates and Devine, you’ve won the game; but we saw the other side of that coin today: if you don’t get Bates and Devine, you’ve probably lost it!
Nevertheless, the questions remain – do New Zealand have enough batting going into the World Twenty20 in November?
Haidee Tiffen, speaking to CRICKETher post-match, is confident:
“I absolutely believe in our batting order,” she says “We’ve got Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine who have been outstanding; Amy Satterthwaite who has been the ICC One Day Player of the Year not so long ago; Maddy Green, who has been our domestic batter of the year this summer been; Katey Martin, who was Player of the Series in our previous series; Leigh Kasperek who has scored a lot of runs domestically; and then Amelia Kerr gets 230 [v Ireland].”
“So we’ve got the batters there – it is just a question of keeping to our cricket smarts and our game plan – building those partnerships!”
The challenge for New Zealand, as it is for any side to be fair, is to find the balance between looking short-term, at the World T20; and long-term at the World Cup, which is being played in New Zealand in 2021.
“We identified that the last couple of series have been ones we wanted to look long term and short term; whereas this was a bit more of a focus on the T20 – we’ve exposed players that have shown that they can be there in the T20 but also be there in 2021.”
“It is an art – sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don’t; but what we’ve found out about our younger players is really promising, and we’ve just got to keep working hard and developing those players and the balance of the experience as well as the youth has been really positive.”
“Our experienced players probably haven’t had the performances we would have liked in this series but Sophie today showed what they are capable of doing; and we are looking forward to that T20 World Cup.”
One player who has arguably been badly missed when New Zealand have struggled for runs this summer has been Rachel Priest, but Tiffen insists that she isn’t out of the picture in terms of WWT20:
“The door is not closed on Rachel – we’ve given clear feedback about the areas she needs to work on; but I don’t shut the door on anyone – it is just who is doing the work and who is improving their game.”
We’ve seen today that when Devine and / or Bates really turn it on, they are forces of nature who can win any game of cricket you put in front of them – even on a tricky pitch at the end of a long, draining tour, when all bets were against them. If they can do that at WWT20, or longer term in 2021, then the world trophy that Suzie Bates wants so desperately to cap her brilliant career with could still be within reach.
This turned out to be a really good game and a pretty close one at that, I feel if England had got one or two of those lbw shouts which on another day they might have, it could have been different. And to get it so close when they were probably at least 30 runs short was a good effort, I think.
New Zealand might have expected to win more easily given they had the outstanding individual performances – with Devine’s century and Kasperek’s 5-for, those are pretty rare feats. England just let their foot off the pedal a bit today I thought. We had a mixture of untimely and unlucky dismissals and a couple of injudicious shots. England always take a lot of risks with the bat, maybe too many at times. but today they rarely paid off. Everything we hit in the air seemed to get caught and no NZ batsmen got caught, at all, although we didn’t drop anything I can remember. It was a funny game, really.
As far as the Championship table goes, it’s something people (and especially the media) make too much of for me. England are actually doing better than we did in the last round because we beat NZ 2-1 and have the same results as last time against Aus and SA. I can’t see England not eventually finishing in the top four, there are no prizes for top and it’s all about those knockout game performances when the tourney actually come around that really matter. Australia already know that, much to their chagrin.
Not too sure what NZ actually learned from this tour, as they already knew Devine was brilliant. I suppose Green looked quite good at times, and Kerr had her moments. But mainly it was the usual suspects for them. Whereas for England we had the emergence of Jones, and Ecclestone and Gerorge really performing well too.
No I’m not going to make a pun on Devine’s name – far too obvious. What an innings though. Total class, scored at more than a run a ball without looking like she was scoring at all.
It was indeed an absolutely brilliant knock from Devine and she, in combination with Kasperek were the difference for the tourists. I’m not sure England have any batsmen who could play an innings like Devine’s. We have quite a few potential century-makers, sure, and players who can flay the bowling attacks of sides outside the top six like Devine did to ours. But England are still suffering from not having those outstanding big hitters like Devine, Lee, Healy, Kaur, Lanning etc. It’s not something that can be addressed before WT20 now, but maybe the KSL will reveal some potential options. It’s one of Robbo’s big remaining challenges not yet conquered I think.
Englands fielding in woeful—pathetic–they are unathletic and give away so many runs in the field—which in 20/20 cricket is crucial to final results.
Your comment is (or should that be “in”?) woeful and pathetic, frankly.
You don’t get to make such reductive, generalising, uninformed and borderline abusive statements without challenge.
Justify your statements.
Who is unathletic, and what matches was the fielding so bad in? As I recall, England have won a lot of matches lately and happen to be 50-over world champions.
“(England) give away so many runs in the field – which in 20/20 cricket is crucial to final results.”
Um, they won the T20 tri-series, genius.
Your greatest conceit, of course, is to think that fielding is the most important part of the game. It’s not, it’s simply one facet out of three. We need the best bowlers and batsmen. Training bowling and batting will get many extra runs/wickets whilst training fielding will only save a few runs. It’s a fine balance between the skills. Athleticism is simply a nice-to-have, on top of everything else. A lot of England’s players are very athletic, a few not quite so. So what? We could easily go away and pick the best athletes but they wouldn’t be able to get as many runs or take as many wickets. It might come as a surprise, but there’s a reason those players are picked, they are the best available.
Whilst I might agree that England probably won’t win the world T20, that shouldn’t be because of a massive difference in fielding from the other sides. England are now about as good as the other top five sides in that department. There are many reasons, not least conditions, pitches, other teams having more big hitters etc. which are way more important than fielding.
Did anyone hear James Taylor’s commentary on BBC coverage of Friday’s match? I thought he showed a pretty limited knowledge of women’s cricket and basically kept going on about how “poor” all the fielding from all teams was, as if it was a real bugbear for him and he couldn’t get over it. I wonder how much of this nonsense is stemming from that. Taylor should stick to selecting the men’s team. I always used to like the guy, but wasn’t a fan of his commentary on this occasion.
I didn’t hear Taylor’s commentary, James, but I wouldn’t be quite so reactionary to such views myself. As someone who is a disciple, advocate, choose whatever word you wish, of the Women’s game, I do feel that fielding generally (not just with England) is an area for improvement. Of all the sideswipes taken by the ‘hard of thinking where women’s cricket is concerned, criticism of some of the fielding is the one I find hardest to defend.
I will, and do, stand up for women’s cricket when people knock it, even sometimes when I know it’s out-and-out trolling, because I believe you can win these arguments by meeting them head on.
But that doesn’t mean blinding yourself to the flaws that are there. Poor fielding on occasions is not exclusive to the Women’s game – it was only last summer that England and West Indies between them dropped 30 catches in 3 (men’s) test matches – but it is more prevalent, and it can be down to many things. Poor technique, lack of practice, loss of concentration, lack of athleticism and so on.
But it’s an area of the game where there is distinct room for improvement, and being in denial of that (I’m not saying you are) is doing the game a disservice.
Yes, that’s very reasonable Richard. The only thing I’d say about that is that Taylor’s comment was directed at all 3 Tri-series sides. Now statistically, it would actually be very unlikely for those teams to field badly over a competition comprising 7 matches. You’d expect that type of thing to average out. What point of reference says that the series’ fielding was particularly worse than normal? My point would be, that’s just the way things are. Therefore it feels like a slight against the whole game.
It is an area for improvement, no doubt; but how much more so than other key areas such as hitting power in batting, or bowling skills: pace and accuracy, is a debatable point to me. It just seems like an easy way out to focus on fielding. And the low hanging fruit aren’t always the finest.