Big task for White Ferns in Guyana

Haidee Tiffen.
Haidee Tiffen.
White Ferns coach Haidee Tiffen can see the bigger picture but the immediate future is daunting.

New Zealand faces what is effectively a ''must-win'' game against Australia in the ICC Women's World T20 tournament this afternoon (New Zealand time).

While mathematically the White Ferns will still be in the hunt for the semifinals following the game against Australia, Tiffen is approaching the fixture in Guyana as if it is a sudden death game.

The White Ferns find themselves in a precarious position so early in the tournament thanks to an incredible innings by Harmanpreet Kaur.

The Indian captain blasted 103 from 51 deliveries to help propel her side to a 34-run win in the opening game.

Tiffen said Kaur's knock was a great advertisement for the women's game.

But while she did not want to take anything away from the innings, she felt her side's bowling had been too full.

''We allowed all their batters to come down the wicket, so we've talked about that and are really working hard on pulling that length back.

''We are in a situation where [the game against Australia] is a must win for us now and we are really up for that challenge.''

Tiffen felt her side showed positive intent in the chase and that was something to take into today's match.

''If you are really clear on what you are trying to achieve, you can score runs out there.''

The White Ferns will need to show more of that positive intent against Australia, which has impressed with a 52-run win against Pakistan and a nine-wicket victory over Ireland.

''[Australia is] the best team in the world for a reason, because they do things consistently well.

''They are really clinical in the way they go about their bowling and their batting.

''But I think we've got some real strengths in our group too. If some of our players really step up and we play a courageous and brave brand of cricket ... I think it will be a really good game.'''

Hard-hitting all-rounder Sophie Devine said the White Ferns would not be intimidated by Australia despite their seamless run in the tournament to date.

''They've been bullies but I think that is why they are at the top of the world at the moment.

''They are a great side [and] they've got great depth. We are fortunate enough to play a lot against them and alongside them with the Women's Big Bash League as well.

''We're really looking forward to it. Anytime you put the Kiwis versus the Aussies, it's going to be a big match.

''We're absolutely pumped for it ... and we actually have a fantastic record against them in World T20s and World Cups.''

''From my memory we've only lost once to them at a World Cup since I've been involved.''

Last month Australia dispatched New Zealand 3-0 in a twenty20 series.

The series loss provided the White Ferns with an opportunity to make a few changes, which would take some time to bed in, Devine said.

''We were pretty disappointed with how we performed. They showed us where the game is heading in the women's [game].

''We know we have areas we need to step up in. We need to go about that in a Kiwi way.

''We can't just been like the Aussies or the English or the West Indians.''

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