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Women’s T20 World Cup: Sophie Devine proud of White Ferns’ comeback

Paarl (South Africa), Feb 20 (IANS) New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine is extremely proud of her team’s comeback at the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup as they stayed in the Group 1 fight with a thumping win over Sri Lanka.

The White Ferns grasped an outside chance of sealing progress to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup with a 102-run win on Sunday night.

Having picked themselves up off the canvas following defeats in their first two games, Devine lauded her side’s resilience to stay alive in South Africa.

“We just wish that was how we played in the first game! I was embarrassed after the first game but now I just feel extreme pride, to be able to bounce back in the way that we have,” said Devine.

“We’ve given ourselves a chance. Even if it’s a tiny, small chance, we’re still in with a shout and that’s why I’m really proud of this group. The partnerships we built were outstanding and we always felt 160 was the target, we knew it was a tough wicket and that would be a competitive total. The bowlers were also outstanding,” she added.

Amelia Kerr won the Player of the Match for a sublime 66 with the bat as New Zealand posted a towering 162 for three. She then took two wickets for just seven runs with her leg spin as Sri Lanka were rolled for just 60.

“It’s nice to get a big win for the team. It was a tough start to the tournament so to get that win was awesome,” said Kerr.

“I’ve been a bit light on runs myself so it was great to get that time in the middle and bat with Suzie, who is a class act. With the ball, it feels like it’s coming out really well. Our spin coach Craig Howard has done some great work with our young spin group and I’m loving bowling more than ever,” she added.

Meanwhile, it was a difficult day at the office for Chamari Athapaththu’s side, who saw their semi-final hopes go up in smoke.

Athapaththu felt a lack of big-stage experience hampered her team.

“It was a tough day. As a bowling unit, we wanted earlier wickets and we felt 140 was a good score to chase. It’s not easy to chase anything more than that and as a batting unit, we had to stick to our plans and play our natural game. Early wickets stopped us doing that and that’s why we lost,” she said.

“The game plan didn’t come together. As a captain, the players need some experience. I have only a few senior players in the team, a lot of them are very young and haven’t played a lot of cricket.

“They don’t have enough experience for this kind of game. This game was very crucial for us. As a team we need to stick to our plans and not take too much pressure on our shoulders. We have played some good cricket in this tournament. We’ve learned a lot of things and we’ll try to carry those things forward and play good cricket in the future,” she added.