Amy Satterthwaite’s memorable T20 knocks

Amy Satterthwaite in action for New Zealand. © ICC

When Amy Satterthwaite went on a pregnancy break in August 2019, little did she anticipate that she would be spending time with her 8-month-old daughter, Grace Marie Satterthwaite, in a bio-bubble in Brisbane on her comeback. It was hard to predict. Such has been the story of this year. She knew it is going to be an extended stay, as Satterthwaite would be resuming captaincy duty at Melbourne Renegades in the sixth edition of Women’s Big Bash League.

Speaking to Women’s CricZone while spending time in quarantine, she said, “I was a little bit nervous and sort of worried that I’d forgotten how to hit the ball.” However, when she went out to bat on September 24 in the warm-up match against Australia, Satterthwaite picked up from where she left off last year. 

The 33-year-old’s 55-ball 48 included six boundaries, and her knock was critical in building a partnership with Sophie Devine. The duo added 90 runs after two early wickets. Devine, who replaced Satterthwaite as the permanent captain earlier in July, said that she is happy to have the latter back in the team.

When Satterthwaite walks out to play on the Allan Border Field in Brisbane on September 26, it would be her 100th T20I for the New Zealand. She will be only the second Kiwi to achieve this feat after Suzie Bates. Satterthwaite has been a prolific one-day cricketer for New Zealand over the past few years. Although we have not seen her best in the shorter format yet, she has had her moments. 

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March 16, 2018, was one of those days. Coming on the back of a crucial 19-ball 36 in the first T20I against West Indies at home, Satterthwaite was in her zone. She came into bat in the eighth over at the loss of Suzie Bates’ wicket and pummelled the Windies bowlers all around the Bay Oval along with Katey Martin; Shamilia Connell, Stafanie Taylor, Hayley Mathews – no one was spared. In particular, Satterthwaite and Martin scored 17 runs in an Afy Fletcher over. The duo added 124 runs in just 73 balls. The southpaw remained not out till the end with a 42-ball 71 taking the team tally to 185/3, and the Kiwis won the match by 106 runs.

Even in the series against India in February last year which was her last in T20Is before the break, Satterthwaite played a couple of crucial knocks as captain. She made a 27-ball 33 in the first game and a 23-ball 32 in the second, forging a fifty-plus partnership with Devine on both occasions. There were multiple instances where she had to play second fiddle to Devine or Bates. And, she did it well.

It has been the story of her T20I career over the years. With two consistent run-accumulators like Devine and Bates at the top, the role of Satterthwaite in the team is a supportive one. She acknowledges the same. “When you have the quality of Sophie and Suzie ahead of you, you have to learn to play your game and not copy how they play,” she recently told ESPNCricinfo.

In WBBL, however, she has been one of the top performers for the Renegades. She has scored 1254 runs in 51 innings at an average of 31.35 in the tournament. She was the leading run-scorer in 2017. In 2018, the 33-year-old led the team to the semi-final where they lost to Sydney Sixers in the Super Over. She was among the top three batters for them along with Danielle Wyatt and Sophie Molineux. 

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During the later stages of the tournament, her knock against Hobart Hurricanes was crucial in confirming Renegades’ berth in the knockouts. Walking in at 1-1, Satterthwaite made a match-saving 57-ball 66 and remained not out till the 19th over. Barring Jess Duffin and Molineux, no one crossed double figures. Satterthwaite took the team to a competitive 146-6. It was a last-over thriller which her side managed to win by just three runs.

Satterthwaite is the third-highest run-getter in T20Is for New Zealand behind Bates and Devine. Throughout her career, she has played second fiddle to them. Predominantly she is an anchor in the team, and whenever they needed her she has come to the rescue more often than not.

On Saturday, when Satterthwaite comes out with a New Zealand cap on, she will know what her role is in the team. And, she would do it as well as she can, like she always has.