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Captain Struggles For Answers After Ferns' Flop

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Captain Struggles For Answers After Ferns' Flop

Sydney, June 22 NZPA - New Zealand captain Aimee Watkins insisted the big occasion didn't get to her cricketers after they suffered another big match collapse against England in London today.

At their first visit to Lord's, the White Ferns folded for just 85 in the world Twenty20 final to hand the hosts a six-wicket win, and confirm their dominance of women's cricket.

It was shades of Sydney three months ago in the 50-over World Cup final between the same sides when New Zealand's powerful batting lineup failed to fire and gave their bowlers a sub-par target to defend.

As captain Charlotte Edwards and her jubilant team sprayed champagne over the hallowed turf to celebrate their brace of world titles, a glum Watkins had few answers.

"I don't think we were very nervous, we were just outplayed today. The English were the better team and they deserved the win," she said.

"We've had a good tournament and we deserved to be in the final but it was really disappointing, our performance today.

"The things we've done well this tournament didn't really happen for us. Our catching, our batting, it just didn't happen.

"Our bowlers did well and we created the chances but in the end we didn't have enough runs on the board."

The Ferns marched confidently into the final after three comfortable wins in pool play -- including a nine-wicket victory over rivals Australia -- before hammering India by 52 runs in the semifinals.

But after being sent in to bat today, in morning conditions offering swing and seam movement, they were dominated by the hosts.

It didn't bode well when in-form pair Watkins and Suzie Bates -- first and third highest runscorers in the tournament going into the final -- departed inside four overs to loose shots.

England seamer Katherine Brunt ripped through the top order to take three for six off four overs and by the end of her spell New Zealand were 23 for four after eight overs.

None of the batters looked comfortable as England dismissed the Ferns off the final ball of the innings.

New Zealand seamers Sophie Devine, Sian Ruck and Kate Pulford then gave England some anxious moments with early wickets, but player of the tournament Claire Taylor guided them home on 39 not out with three overs to spare.

Pulford found Taylor's edge on nought, but wicketkeeper Rachel Priest couldn't quite glove the wide chance to sum up New Zealand's day.

Said Watkins: "We over-estimated the pitch a bit. We thought it would have been a good batting deck, but full credit to the English bowlers, they hit the seam and made it move around a bit, which our bowlers did as well.

"Looking back, 120 might have been a defendable score."

A beaming Edwards rated it her side's best bowling and fielding performance of the tournament.

"It's got to be the proudest day of my life. I didn't think it could get any better after Sydney but I think it's just got a lot better today. To win a World Cup on our home ground is very special," the England captain said.


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