Cricket: Bates out to continue sparkling form in Rose Bowl

Suzie Bates.
Suzie Bates.
White Ferns captain Suzie Bates has hit a rich vein of form before the Rose Bowl series which starts in Sydney today. The Otago Sparks all-rounder has been in blistering form with the bat in the one-day tournament and has had just as much success with the ball.

She is the competition's leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps at an average of 19.91 but it is her batting which has attracted the most attention. The 25-year-old has scored 398 runs at 99.50, including an impressive undefeated 160 against Canterbury.

It is just the kind of form you want to hit when you are about to start a tough series of games against Australia.

The opening game of the four-game series is at the Sydney Cricket Ground today, with the other three being played at at North Sydney Oval.

''Four is a funny number for a series but we have to win three to get the Rose Bowl back, so that is going to be a challenge,'' Bates said.

''They only found time for four between our domestic season and theirs."

Bates said the domestic season has provided the team with the perfect build-up for the series.

''Lots of the girls have been scoring big runs and time in the middle is the best preparation.

''I've played more cricket than I have in the past with coming from the world cup and then having a stint in Perth, where I didn't perform that well. But to come back and perform with the ball and the bat feels pretty good. Hopefully, against the Aussies a few of our players can continue to score big as well."

It will be the first tour for new White Ferns coach Katrina Keenan, who recently took over from Gary Stead.

''It almost feels like a new beginning for the team and we are really keen to show exactly what we're capable of,'' Bates said.

''If we play to our potential then there is no doubt whatsoever that we have what it takes to beat Australia and we'll be doing our best to do so."


New Zealand v Australia
The schedule

December 12: First ODI, Sydney Cricket Ground
December 14: Second ODI, North Sydney Oval
December 17: Third ODI, North Sydney Oval
December 19: Fourth ODI, North Sydney Oval

White Ferns squad: Suzie Bates (captain), Amy Satterthwaite, Erin Bermingham, Nicola Browne, Rachel Candy, Sophie Devine, Lucy Doolan, Frances Mackay, Katey Martin, Sara McGlashan, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Rachel Priest, Sian Ruck.


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