Yesterday, Suzie Bates announced that she will be stepping down from her role as the captain of the White Ferns’ after being given that position back in 2012. Her deputy, Amy Satterthwaite was handed over the reins. Over her six years’ of captaincy, Bates led her team successfully. Her team finished third in the ICC Women’s Championship to earn automatic qualification to the Women’s World Cup in July 2017 and reached the semi-finals’ of the Women’s World Twenty-20 in March 2016. As a tribute to her captaincy, here is our list of her top five wins as White Ferns’ skipper:
February 2014, Against the West Indies
Previously, New Zealand had struggled against the West Indies, losing their last few series’ against them. This time however, they established their dominance over the team in maroon, white-washing them. The series win helped boost the White Ferns’ confidence as they went on to white-wash the Twenty-20 series as well, winning all four matches played. They then defeated England 2-1 in the initial ODI leg of their tour to gain valuable Championship points, though they eventually lost the series 2-3.
In the match, New Zealand scored 221-8 batting first. Their bowlers then restricted the Windies team to 114 all-out, to register a convincing 107 run win. Though Bates only contributed 14 runs to the total, it was under her captaincy that they won the match.
July 2015, Against India
It is a generally well-known fact that defeating India on their home soil is a tough ask but, that was the task Bates was assigned ahead of the White Ferns’ tour of India. After the hosts’ won the first of five matches in the series -the beginning three of which were part of the ICC Women’s Championship- the visitors’ bounced back. They won the next two matches to add another four points to their overall tally in the points table.
In the third ODI of the series, that resulted in the tourists’ going up by 2-1, Bates played an important role. The White Ferns’ bowlers, led by Sophie Devine, who took three wickets, restricted the Indian total to 182-9. Bates chipped in with a wicket, but more importantly, her 59 off 87 balls helped her side cruise to victory in the 46th over. Her 125 run opening stand with Rachel Priest set the tone for the win.
India returned with vengeance to win the next two games and claim the series but, New Zealand earned more ICC Women’s Championship points to help them qualify for the World Cup directly.
Following this series, Bates told New Zealand Cricket, “We have the core of an exciting new group now that started in India last year under Haidee Tiffen, and it’s very satisfying to be contributing to that…That Indian tour really built our confidence.”
March 2016, Against Australia
In an eagerly anticipated match, New Zealand faced off against their trans-Tasman rivals, Australia in the group stages of the Women’s World Twenty-20. The White Ferns’ bowlers bowled brilliantly to restrict a daunting Australian line-up, featuring the likes of Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning, to a meagre 103-8. Leigh Kasperek was named Player of the Match for her impressive figures of 3-13. After the bowling display, Bates combined with Rachel Priest for an opening stand of 58 runs, scoring 23 runs herself to ensure her team won comfortably with six wickets and 22 balls to spare.
New Zealand went on to finish at the top of their group table, remaining undefeated. They were undone in the semi-finals by the eventual champions, West Indies.
After the tournament, Bates spoke to New Zealand Cricket, saying it was “a different feeling from other world tournaments. I felt we really put our best foot forward, we were playing really good cricket and everyone felt really confident the whole week leading up to the semi-final.”
“Although we were absolutely gutted, ultimately it was not personally as disappointing as some World Cups in the past, where I’ve felt we haven’t turned up for those big games.”
“I’m excited that the group is heading in the right direction, and that lots of players are contributing and getting recognition — to have four players in the tournament team illustrated that.”
June 2018, Against Ireland
Although against a weaker team, this match was truly unforgettable as it broke the record for the highest ever total in ODI’s in both the men’s and the women’s game. In their first ODI against Ireland, New Zealand went in with all guns blazing. After Bates and debutant Jess Watkin got their team off to flying start, the flow of runs did not stop. Bates went on the score a whopping 151 off just 94 balls, with Maddie Green also scoring a blitzy century. Watkin and Amelia Kerr registered half-centuries too, helping their team to reach the unbelievable total of 491-4!
In reply, Ireland were bundled up for 144, as New Zealand won by 347 runs.
June 2018, Against South Africa
Another memorable match under the captaincy of Suzie Bates that broke records. Albeit, one of which was broken just a few hours afterwards.
In the opening match of the tri-nation Twenty-20 series featuring South Africa, New Zealand and hosts’ England, the two touring teams took on each other. The White Ferns’ batting attack led by Bates and Sophie Devine made light work of what is arguably the best pace bowling attack in women’s cricket at the moment. The two openers hammered the helpless bowlers to all parts of the ground, recording the highest opening partnership in Twenty-20’s with their stand of 187. Bates went on to score 124* off 66 balls and Devine scored 73 from 48 balls to post the highest total in women’s Twenty-20’s. The total was 216-1. It was broken by England’s 250-3 later that afternoon against the same opposition.
South Africa could only manage 150 in reply and lost by 66 runs.