5 Sep 2021

Confidence boosting win for White Ferns

3:22 pm on 5 September 2021

White Ferns captain Sophie Devine says victory over England in the second T20 cricket international is the result of months of hard work.

Sophie Devine of New Zealand with teammates after the game
New Zealand White Ferns v England, 2nd T20 International cricket match at The 1st Central County Ground, Hove, England on 4th September 2021.
New Zealand Women tour of England 2021.

Photo: Matthew Impey/Photosport Ltd 2021

After being convincingly beaten in game one, New Zealand bounced back with a four-wicket win in Hove on Sunday.

Thanks largely to an impressive all-round contribution from Devine, the visitors restricted England to 127-7 before chasing down their target with 10 balls to spare.

Maddy Green also played her part, making 21 off 19 to keep New Zealand moving towards their target as a clump off wickets fell in the middle stages of the chase.

The White Ferns have struggled for wins during the past couple of years, and player of the match Devine says it was nice to get one on the board.

"You can probably only go so long with working hard and not getting results, so this is certainly a confidence booster.

"The really exciting thing is we know we've got a lot of room for improvement still.

"That's a really exciting prospect to know we can win games of cricket like that, against a top side, with plenty of room still to grow."

The result also broke the team's curse around milestone matches.

The fixture was Devine's 100th T20 international - an occasion she celebrated with two wickets and a brisk half century in what was a player of the match performance.

Sophie Devine the New Zealand White Fearns.


"There was some beautiful words spoken by Amy (Satterthwaite) and Suzie (Bates), who I've played a lot of cricket with. It was quite tough to hard the tears back because it is quite emotional thinking about it...

"I think everybody gained another five per cent for the milestone match. We've got a pretty horrible curse of trying to win milestone matches, so it was nice to do that."

Devine's innings off 50 from just 41 balls, including four sixes, marked her first international half-century in almost a year.

The New Zealand captain took a break from the game at the end of the home summer due to mental fatigue, and said she was feeling a lot better than she was earlier this year because of it.

"Mentally I was nowhere. To try and play international cricket when mentally you're not at the top of your game, let alone 50 per cent, it's always going to be bloody hard.

"Looking back I was nowhere near my best, and mentally not in a position to produce my best. It's nice to have been able to step away and put some things in place around that."

The White Ferns had a four-day break before Friday's third and deciding match against England in Taunton.

That T20 series finale would be followed by five one-dayers.