We have to step up with the bat: Bates
Upon winning the toss and opting to field first, New Zealand got off to a good start by picking wickets early against the West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium. They maintained an edge over their opponents by striking at regular intervals, until the West Indies lower order, especially Shanel Daley and Anisa Mohammed, milked the White Ferns’ bowlers to post a competitive total. And after losing wickets early, on the Suzie Bates-led side was not able to recover as the West Indies piled on the pressure and pulled off a convincing victory in the end.
Speaking to the media in the aftermath of the 48-run loss, the New Zealand skipper analysed her team’s performance and said that their batting needs to improve as they step into the business end of 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup.
Excerpts from her post-match media conference:
On the match
I think it was a huge boost for them, getting over 200 runs. In the last 10 overs, we let them slip a little bit away. I thought we bowled well in periods, but we were just inconsistent. And when you get a score like 200 [odd to chase] and lose early wickets, it definitely has an impact.
On their batting
We have had a big summer of cricket and there have been girls who have been scoring a high number of runs. It is disappointing that we haven’t as batted as well as we can anywhere in the tournament. That is what wins you games, batters stepping up […] and scoring runs. So, obviously disappointed today that none of the top five stepped up and we left it to Rachel Priest, and it was too much for her to do. If we want to win the next game or be successful in this tournament, we have to step up with the bat.
On the target
With an outfield like that, if you have wickets in hand, you can sort of [chase] 250-plus. But if you lose wickets, then it is hard to get going and it can squeeze teams. If we had got one partnership within the first five batters, we could have got home quite easily, but we just lost wickets too close together, and we just couldn't get a partnership […].
On the bowling performance
I thought the wicket was slowing and it seemed easier when there was pace on the ball to get away. But perhaps against the tailenders, it probably would have been, in hindsight, a good idea to bring back Lea [Tahuhu] and even Nicola Browne a bit. But that was a decision we made out in the middle, [with] the wicket slowing and [it getting] harder to get pace on the ball.
On importance of the next game
We were well aware that it was a huge game for us today; that probably was the most disappointing thing. It was almost a semi-final. We didn't turn up and play good cricket. So, now we have really opened this Super Six stage up, which has given England another sniff and West Indies are now in the hunt. It is going to come down to the last game [...]. I guess that is what World Cups are about and unfortunately today's loss has put us on the back foot. But we will get up and face England; we beat them in a warm-up match, [so] we will go in that match confidently.