Sophie Devine in action. © White Ferns

Sophie Devine’s run of scores over fifty has extended to six successive games. After hitting five such scores against South Africa in the preceding T20I series including a ton, she hit another match-winning half century against Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup. But she enjoyed a couple of lives en route her unbeaten 75-run knock.

“Geez, you’ve just got to ride your luck! I think it’s cricket a little bit,” said Devine after the game.

“Sometimes they catch them. Sometimes they don’t. It’s sort of about making them pay. Pretty fortunate to get another opportunity and certainly wanted to, I guess, put my head back on and make sure I was there at the end of the game. It’s cricket — sometimes it goes your way; sometimes it doesn’t.”

She added 61 runs in just 37 balls with Maddy Green, who joined her in the middle at two for 58. Green then scored 29 in just 20 balls, hitting a couple of fours and a six, that decisively shifted the momentum of the game towards New Zealand.

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Devine heaped praise on the batter, saying, “Maddy Green as well with the bat was fantastic, and she probably won’t get much of the credit, but those sort of small knocks are really the glue that holds together an innings like that.”

She also talked highly of Hayley Jensen, whose three wickets pegged Sri Lanka back from running away with the game after their openers added 60 runs in quick time. Jensen’s simple tactics are what worked for her said the skipper.

“I think the thing here at the wicket, sometimes you get carried away with trying to bounce people too much with the swing and the pace. Hit the bat hard and bowl in good areas and put them under pressure. She was fantastic today.”

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Having got their first points in the competition, Devine’s side’s next opponents are the high-flying India. After her exploits against Australia, Poonam Yadav earned a few words of praise from the Kiwi skipper.

“I think she’s quality. She’s hard to face,” said Devine. “When you’re only four-foot, it’s pretty tough to figure out a way to combat. That’s certainly going to be a lot of our discussions, how we play against her. I think the wicket will maybe be slightly different at Junction Oval compared to what it was in Sydney.”

New Zealand now have a good five day gap before the game against India on February 27.

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