Cricket - Suzie Bates
New Zealand's Suzie Bates sweeps during his match-winning effort of 126 against Pakistan on Saturday. Image Credit: AFP

Christchurch: Century-maker Suzie Bates produced a milestone innings as New Zealand beat Pakistan by 71 runs in the Women’s World Cup in Christchurch on Saturday.

It was the final match of the tournament for both sides, and although New Zealand hold a mathematical chance of making the semi-finals, captain Sophie Devine said that was most unlikely and it was a “bittersweet” win to bow out on.

“Absolutely, we’re gutted that we’re not moving forward in this tournament and I want to wish those teams that do manage to go through all the best,” she said.

The tournament hosts posted 266 for eight with Bates scoring 126 before Hannah Rowe took five for 55 to restrict Pakistan to 194 for nine.

It lifted New Zealand to six points, equal with fourth-placed England and India who each have a superior run rate and a game in hand which sees them both threaten to overtake third-placed West Indies - who are one point ahead but have completed their matches.

At a crowded Hagley Oval, on New Zealand’s first day without Covid-enforced outdoor spectator restrictions, Bates contributed nearly half the New Zealand total and along the way became only the fourth player in women’s cricket to reach 5,000 ODI runs.

Bates also became the first person to score a century in four consecutive World Cup tournaments but believed her Player-of-the-Match award should have gone to Rowe.

“I just really wanted to take the game deep and make sure we finished off the 50 overs and got a good score on the board,” she said.

“It’s a nice record to have but I thought Hannah Rowe, I could share this player of the match with because she bowled outstandingly.”

Bates was given out lbw on 17 and deliberated on the dismissal until the final second before seeking a review which confirmed the ball was missing leg-stump.

When the opener was eventually dismissed, bowled by Nashra Sandhu in the 43rd over, she received a standing ovation as she walked from the field and New Zealand were well placed at 211 for five with more than seven overs remaining.

Perry only as a batter?

Australia allrounder Ellyse Perry could play as a batter only in their semi-final next week if she fails to fully recover from a back injury, coach Matthew Mott said on Saturday.

Perry, who is a key player of the Australian team, was off the field for most of their group stage win over South Africa on Tuesday after suffering a back spasm. She also missed Friday’s win over Bangladesh.

“She’ll have to get through a battery of tests, with this return-to-play protocol that she’ll have to meet, she’ll have to meet some certain criteria and be able to perform close to her best,” Mott said.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 265-8 in 50 overs (S. Bates 126, K. Martin 30n.o.; Dar 3-39) vs Pakistan 194-9 in 50 overs (N. Dar 50, B. Maroof 38; Rowe 5-55).