She hasn’t been seen in any of the White Ferns T20 World Cup warm-up games to date, but Sophie Devine may finally be ready to return.
The skipper’s missed the 2-1 series loss to England and the win over the West Indies this morning as she continues to fight off a stress fracture in her right foot.
“She’s been making really good progress, been doing a lot more every day and I think the plan is she will have a go on Wednesday,” batter and "part-time spinner" Suzie Bates indicated for their final warm-up game against England.
She may not play the full game, but any return for Devine would be timely, as they eye Australia in their tournament opener on Sunday morning (NZT).
“They’ve [management] been managing her and they’ve probably been on the cautious side but every day she’s doing more and more so it’s trying to hold her back to make sure she’s good to go.”
That piece of hope comes as New Zealand showed some promise against the West Indies in Cape Town. After a sluggish start left them 32 for three, the White Ferns recovered to 123 from their 20 overs, before restricting the West Indies to just 91 for seven, for a 32-run victory.
The low-scoring nature of that game in stark contrast to what happened in Stellenbosch, with hosts South Africa falling just 17 runs short of chasing down England’s mammoth 246 for seven.
“I think if you look at women’s Twenty20 cricket historically, spin has dominated and we have three quality spinners and one part-timer at the moment so it’s going good for our spinner’s club. It’s just about our seam bowlers, on those lower, slow wickets learning how to bowl in those conditions too,” Bates explained.
Along with the Aussies, Bangladesh, South Africa and Sri Lanka are also in New Zealand’s group.