Till Saturday, the record for the most number of sixes by a single player in a women’s One-Day International was seven. The record was held by a number of players, including South African opener Lizelle Lee, who had blasted seven in her 65-ball 92 against India.
But as New Zealand chased down Pakistan’s paltry score of 144 in the other Women’s World Cup match, the White Ferns batter broke the record in spectacular fashion. She hit a record nine sixes as she scored 93 of only 41 balls, falling seven runs short of what would have been one of the quickest ever tons. In fact, the only thing stopping her was the modest target of 145, which New Zealand reached with eight wickets and 35 overs to spare.
“I back my ability and we all back our skillsets,” Devine was quoted as saying on the International Cricket Council’s website after the win. “It’s almost high-risk not to play your own brand of cricket and that’s what we’ve been working on.”
Speaking about her hard-hitting style, she added that her physique gave her the push to go for the big shots and that she preferred to keep her batting simple.
“A lot of work goes in behind the scenes, my physique probably lends itself to more power-hitting in the game, but it was just my day,” she said.
“It’s pretty simple, for Rachel [Priest, who hit 90 in the last game against West Indies] and I, we see the ball and whack it. It’s funny how you can complicate the game of cricket, but we were keeping it simple and enjoying ourselves out there,” she added.
The 27-year-old was also proud of New Zealand’s campaign so far with three wins, as a different person has contributed to different wins. “This is the style of cricket we want to play – we’re attacking with both the bat and ball and we’ve been able to get that result,” she said.
“We back these young ones coming in, we know the talent and potential that they’ve got, so it’s fun to see them out there and performing on the world stage. We know they can do it, so it’s awesome to see different people stepping up each game,” she added.
Devine may have fallen just short of a record century, but she was taking it in her stride. “100 is just a number. It’s funny how seven more runs is a big deal, but at the end of the day a win is the most important thing in the World Cup.
New Zealand play England next, on Wednesday in Derby.