14 Feb 2023

'Embarrassed' White Ferns World Cup title aspirations take another hit

11:06 am on 14 February 2023

The White Ferns captain Sophie Devine says she is embarrassed by a second straight loss at the T20 World Cup in South Africa, which put a huge dent in their hopes of making the semi-finals.

New Zealand's Suzie Bates reacts after being dismissed by South Africa's Nonkululeko Mlaba during the 2023 T20 World Cup

Suzie Bates is dismissed Photo: AFP

The New Zealanders were beaten by South Africa by 65 runs in Paarl.

It was their batting that again let them down as they chased 133 for victory, with the White Ferns all out for just 67 in the 19th over. It's their second lowest T20 total and their lowest T20 World Cup total.

"I'm not sure too many words can describe the disappointment and the embarrassment," Devine said.

"That's not good enough for an international cricket side and I take a lot of that as captain and how I lead this team and it's not good enough."

The New Zealand chase got off to a bad start, falling to 18 for 4 in the fifth over.

Bernadine Bezuidenhout was stumped off the second ball of the innings, Suzie Bates was also dismissed for no score and they were soon followed by Georgia Plimmer (7) and Amelia Kerr (10).

They then fell to 31 for 5 with Maddy Green dismissed for seven.

The Ferns then lost any hope when captain Sophie Devine, who came in at number five, was dismissed for 16.

Nonkululeko Mlaba took 3 for 10 from her four overs.

After deciding to bat first South Africa made 132/6.

Chloe Tryon top scored with 40, while Nadine de Klerk was unbeaten on 28.

Spinner Eden Carson and pace bowler Lea Tahuhu took two wickets each.

Devine has called on her team mates to be brave and is imploring them to finish the tournament playing with pride.

"We'd rather go down swinging than go back into our shells and we probably did that again which is disappointing. We need to find out why that's happening you can't do that, particularly at world cups, so that's some of the discussions we're going to have to have because I know we've got the skill and we work bloody hard as a team. It's not the effort it's how we are putting it out there on the park."

The experienced campaigner struggled to see where it went wrong for the White Ferns.

"I don't know the answer, I honestly don't and that's where it's really hard. I wish there was some magic bullet that could fix it all and we could come right within the next couple of hours but I don't know the answer and that's what we're going to have to figure out as a team and that's what we're going to have to go through as a group because we're in this for the long haul."

Devine admits progressing to the semi-finals after two heavy defeats is a "very, very small chance of happening".

"I think the way that our run-rate is absolutely out the window is probably a sign that we're going to have to score about 8 thousand runs and restrict Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to about 20, funnier things have happened I guess, but we're put ourselves in this position and we've got to be honest with that but that doesn't mean those games aren't valuable to us."

The White Ferns are a new-look side for this world cup following the retirement of several players after the last world cup in New Zealand but Devine won't use inexperience amongst some of the playing group as an excuse for the results in South Africa.

"Every team is going to go through these cycles of players coming and going and we're probably in that transition phase a little bit now with some really key experienced players exiting the game and that new crop coming through.

"I'm sure we're going to absolutely dissect every part of this tournament and this campaign when we get back to New Zealand and I think a big part of that is going to be our domestic game.

"If I'm being brutally honest I'm not sure if it is preparing us for international cricket and you're seeing now the WBBL, the Hundred and the WPL they're highly competitive tournaments and they're preparing players with the opportunities they give themselves. I think we've done great things in New Zealand with our domestic cricket but I'm not that it is at the same standard as those other competitions."

New Zealand are bottom of their world cup group.

They lost to Australia by 97 runs in their opening game and next meet Bangladesh on Saturday morning.