Engeland, die 2017 champions, struggled in their run chase once again but managed to get over the line to keep their tournament alive
Kate Cross admitted that England’s narrow one-wicket win over New Zealand has left the changing room deflated despite it keeping alive their hopes of defending their ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup title.
Engeland, led by Cross’s three for 35, had restricted New Zealand to 203 all out, dismissing the last eight batters for 69 runs at Eden Park.
Maar die 2017 champions struggled in their run chase once again, Nat Sciver’s 61 leading the way before an untimely collapse left No11 Anya Shrubsole to hit the winning runs having been sent out to bat in the drizzle with eight still needed.
“It’s just about finding ways of winning and we found a way to win today and we’ll go away, review our batting honestly and we’ll review our bowling honestly like we do with every game,” Cross said.
“I think it feels like we’ve lost, it feels a little bit like there’s quite a lot of negative chatter around which obviously is not the case, we’ve just won a must-win game of cricket against New Zealand on their home soil at Eden Park with the biggest crowd that we’ve played in front of.
“To come away with two points is still massive and we shouldn’t be too disheartened either because we did half of that game very, very well and tournament cricket is all about peaking at the right time.
'So, as long as we can keep going and keep making improvements, which I feel like we have since the first couple of games, then hopefully we can get ourselves into that knockout stage.”
England must still win their games against Pakistan and Bangladesh to have a chance of qualifying after Australia became the first team to confirm their place in the knockouts.
New Zealand must rely on other results going their way but now look set to be dumped out of their home tournament early.
And while England came out on top today, both Cross and the White Ferns’ vice-captain Amy Satterthwaite cited a failure to put together substantial batting partnerships as the reason the game went down to the wire.
The England seamer said: “I think we’ve just not quite been clinical enough. If we look at that performance, I thought we did that first half very well to restrict New Zealand to just over 200, after the start that they got I thought was a great effort in the field and with the ball.
“But we talked so much about partnerships, and we couldn’t quite extend the batting partnerships today, I thought Nat [Sciver] and Heather [Ridder] batted well together, but we just needed someone to stay out there and try and see us home.
“I think if we’re completely honest, the weather affected the pitch a little bit. It was skidding on a little bit more and I don’t think we adjusted to that as well as we should have done as a batting unit.
“The main thing is we’ve got the win on the board, and we’ve got the points that we needed, which I think if you’d have asked us at the start of the day with the weather that was around, we’d have absolutely taken a one-wicket win so we don’t want to be too negative about the fact that we have got that win on the board.”
Satterthwaite took over the reins as captain after skipper Sophie Devine was unable to field due to a back injury she picked up batting while bowler Lea Tahuhu pulled up with a hamstring issue.
Spinner Frances Mackay took a career-best four for 34 to bring the home favourites back into the contest but New Zealand were ultimately let down by an underwhelming batting performance with Maddy Green left stranded on 52 not out.
Sy het gese: “The frustrating part is I really felt that we turned a corner against India in the series before this tournament as a group and we started to put some consistent totals on the board around that sort of 260/270 [merk] and everyone was playing their role superbly.
“We’ve obviously had some things not go our way today with the likes of Sophie’s injury, we lost Lauren Down coming into this tournament.
“But I still back the people that were in this line-up to produce bigger scores than what we have been and I think sometimes we possibly get a little bit ahead of ourselves and think we need more than we do.
“We need to use a bit of guts and determination to take it a little bit deeper to be able to get that score on the board.
“I thought Maddy and myself had absorbed a little bit [of pressure] today and were just starting to turn a corner and gain a little bit of momentum and my wicket was really poor timing in that sense and unfortunately, after that, it was a little bit of dominoes.”
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