Modern Cricket has often been beautified by harmless but sincere queries. For instance, “Where were you when the first-ever Ashes Test was played” highlights the significance of Test Cricket. The probe, “Where were you when Brian Lara reached the highest individual Test score highlights the significance of stalwarts in the sport. The endearing query, “Where were you when Sachin walked out to bat for one last time” captures a heartbreaking change of a tide.
The day when NZ’s White Ferns enriched ODI cricket
But now, at the back of a massacring experienced at the YMCA club in Ireland’s Dublin, a question that’ll help understand a definitive context of the women’s game would be, “Where were you when ODI cricket’s highest-ever team score of 490 was scored?”
In nearly six decades of the ODI game’s history, where greats have come and gone, jerseys hung for good, rivalries forged and forgotten with new formats complimenting the ticking seconds’ watch on the wall- none have managed to demonstrate what New Zealand’s White Ferns have.
Remember the date- June 8, 2018
Perhaps June 8, 2018, shall, for times to come, be remembered always as a date that brought to Cricket- a mayhem that even the menfolk couldn’t conjure. This is when the sport has witnessed an enthralling mix of legends that have traversed the game’s texture with absolute authority, with talents like a Sir Viv Richards to Gayle, Sachin to Virat, Michael Clarke to Steve Smith, Kallis to De Villiers not managing a feat that Suzie Bates-led New Zealand did.
In a cricketing version of a pre-emptive strike, the New Zealand’s women- aka, White Ferns- administered such severe lashings to Ireland at Dublin, that it seemed the Kiwis were irked at just being challenged for a contest in the 50-over game.
Suzie Bates bats Ireland out on way to record-score
How else would one ever justify the highest possible construction of an ODI score that came at an astonishing run-rate of nearly 10-an over?
A feat that’s sparklingly extraordinary and insurmountable for most other teams in pursuit, White Ferns, at the back of captain Suzie Bates’ belligerent 151, amassed a whopping 490 runs on the board?
What do you do in the immediate instant of someone asking for an adjective to really mighty team-scores in Cricket? Given what New Zealand have managed thanks to an in-form Suzie Bates’ heroism, you, of course, imagine a reptile from a Jurrasic age walking down the 22 yards in an Irish setting.
Suzie Bates, the anchor of New Zealand’s tallest skyscraper in the annals of the game, supported well by Kerr’s 81 not out and Green’s 121- made no mistake in clubbing both bad and good balls to every corner of the park as she’d reach her highest individual score in ODI’s, completing her hundred off just 94 balls.
How the rec0rd-breaking game panned out?
She struck 24 boundaries at a brisk strike rate of 160 as New Zealand taught Ireland a lesson in a proliferation of runs, sixes and fours being plundered with about the same effort needed to put water into a garden plant.
In reply to a very surreal ask of 491 off just 300 balls, New Zeland’s White Ferns walloped Ireland for a 346-run drubbing, another record-feat for a world class side.
Needless it is to say that Ireland, despite having a Kavanagh, Delany and others could hardly put bat to ball and heart into the contest.
It could be argued, Ireland, akin to a soul enslaved with bitterness seemingly pictured in New Zealand – a djin that, at the back of its record-tumbling feat threatens to cause further obliteration in Women’s World T20. Flexing its cricketing muscles at the presence of both- the exuberance of youth in Kasperek, Broadmore and the flair of a quartet in Bates, Tahuhu, Satterthwaite, Devine- New Zealand have risen as potentially the side to beat this season.
What New Zealand’s White Ferns teach others
On an ominous streak, it’s the poisonous fangs of the White Ferns that even sides like India and Australia need to guard against. In Tahuhu and Kasperek are New Zealand’s world-class bowlers while Bates and Devine continue t0 wage assault as among best all-rounders of the game.
Akin to an astronaut keen to study the land he walks in on, together, New Zealand seems keener to win every contest it plays in.
Even as they might be hailed as ‘Kiwis’, this current New Zealand side seems a different bird altogether.
Maybe the assault on Ireland is a wake-up call for others in the sport, so often caught in salubrious discussions that are primarily besotted with Mandhana, Perry or Sciver.