Bates has 'one of my most important innings' in White Ferns win

Source: 1News

The White Ferns have secured a 13-run victory over South Africa in their opening game at the Commonwealth Games, on the back of a brilliant unbeaten knock of 91 by Suzie Bates.

Bates crunched three sixes and eight boundaries for her 64-ball 91, carrying the bat through the 20 overs and helping the White Ferns to a strong first innings total of 167 for two.

She was well-supported by fellow opener Sophie Devine, who took the game by the scruff of the neck in the opening overs, before falling just short of a half-century for 48.

Bates told 1News after the match the side had learned from earlier this year in preparing for the tournament opener.

"It was really important to start the tournament well," Bates said.

"We tried not to talk about it but everyone knew this was a massive game and how we started the World Cup at home with that close loss to the West Indies, we knew we needed to start this tournament well.

"I think it's probably one of my most important innings in a tournament for New Zealand."

After Devine's dismissal left New Zealand 99 for one in the 14th over, Amelia Kerr came to the crease and quickly set about helping Bates set up a strong finish.

At the end of the 18th over, Bates was on 60 and only striking just over a run a ball.

Suzie Bates scored a breathtaking unbeaten 91 against South Africa.

But that quickly changed as she took apart the South African bowlers in the final two overs, walloping three sixes and two boundaries in just nine balls to finish unbeaten on 91 and set South Africa a formidable target.

"That partnership with Sophie and Melie really helped us put on a competitive score," Bates said.

"We talk about party time when you're in at the back end of the innings and I had a bit of fun out there for the last two overs."

The White Ferns bowlers quickly turned the screws, with Hayley Jensen and Hannah Rowe dismissing openers Anneke Bosch and Tazmin Brits for just three and six respectively, leaving South Africa reeling at 15 for two after four overs.

Requiring close to 10 runs an over for the rest of the innings, South Africa were unable to get a foothold back in the game until Chloe Tryon came out swinging and quickly raced to 39 off just 17 balls.

The White Ferns celebrate the wicket of Laura Wolvaardt, of South Africa.

Suddenly South Africa required 55 from the final five overs, but their hopes were dashed just as quickly as they appeared when Tryon was run out after a mix-up just moments later.

Relieved to have survived the brief scare, the White Ferns had the last laugh, restricting South Africa to 154 for seven to claim a 13-run victory.

Devine finished with three for 37 from her four overs, while Jensen was arguably the pick of the bowlers, taking one for 22 off her four overs.