Women’s World Cup: It’s not the final we thought we would be playing in, says Sophie Devine

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New Zealand captain Sophie Devine on Friday stated that her team will put their best foot forward in their final league match of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup against Pakistan despite it not being the final they had liked.

New Zealand are highly unlikely to reach the semifinals in their home World Cup. But the hosts, currently sixth in points table with four points, would need huge wins for Bangladesh against England and South Africa against India as well them defeating Pakistan and then wait for net run rate scales to see if they can progress to the semifinals.

“I think we’ve got to be realistic about it. I don’t know the exact numbers, but we do know that this is likely our final game here and that’s how we want to play it. Bob (Carter, head coach) mentioned it in training earlier today that tomorrow will be our final, it’s obviously not the final that we thought we would be playing in,” said Devine in the pre-match virtual press conference.

“But we’ve still got so much passion and pride that we want to make sure that we go out tomorrow and really put on a performance that we’re certainly proud of but also all our friends and family and the rest in New Zealand are hopefully really proud of as well,” added Devine, who is hopeful of taking the field tomorrow after suffering a back injury in the one-wicket loss to England.

Asked on where New Zealand faltered in their World Cup campaign, Devine pointed towards making runs with the bat. “In all honesty, we haven’t scored enough runs. There’s been a number of games where if we’d have scored 20-30 more runs, the result would have been a little bit more, maybe easy to come by. I say tomorrow’s (match) our big focus. All those reflections and reviews will happen, but certainly run scoring has been an issue for us.”

New Zealand will not have the services of pacer Lea Tahuhu, their leading wicket-taker in the tournament due to a hamstring injury. Devine felt sad that Tahuhu will be unable to play in front of her home crowd. “It’s always tough to miss out when you get the opportunity to play at home. She told me yesterday that she doesn’t have a great track record playing games for the New Zealand side here at Hagley (Oval).”

“She pulled up lame a couple of years ago with another hamstring injury, so I think she’s only ever completed two out of four games, so maybe it’s a good sign that she’s sitting this one out. But we’ll certainly miss her experience.”

“I think she’s been fantastic with the ball this competition and we’ll certainly miss her leading that pace attack. But she’ll be supporting from the sidelines. She’s certainly really hopeful that we’re going to have a full crowd in to support the White Ferns,” concluded Devine.

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