Not taking New Zealand lightly, says Rachael Haynes ahead of T20I series opener
Rachael Haynes has said that Australia and New Zealand have had some cracking contests in the past and they would not be underestimating the Sophie Devine-led side lightly, when both the teams lock horns in the first of three-match T20I series starting September 26.
“They have got a really strong team, and they are a pretty tricky opposition to come up against. They have got some really dangerous players in both formats,” left-handed batter Haynes said during the media interaction after the warm-up fixture against the visitors.
Both the teams played a 40-over match followed by a Super Over contest earlier on Thursday (September 24) at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. Haynes and Beth Mooney starred for the hosts as they scored 54 and 80 respectively. Sophie Molineux followed with a half-century and took the team to 247/8 in 40 overs.
The visitors got off to a horror start as they lost two early wickets to pacer Belinda Vakarewa. Though Amy Satterthwaite and Sophie Devine made brilliant fifties, New Zealand fell short by 11 runs. In the Super Over contest, however, it was New Zealand who had the last laugh.
On her performance, Haynes felt it was nice to spend some time in the field after the long lay-off. “It was really nice to have some fielders in front of you, and (work on) the idea of where space is, and those sort of things again. I thought everyone who got the opportunity really made the most of it today,” she said.
The opening batter was all praise for Vakarewa, who gave them the initial breakthrough. “Belinda was tough to get away. I think there are promising signs there. The Quicks in our team were fighting it out for a spot. It was good to see them put on a good show today,” she added.
She also applauded the way Mooney and Molineux batted. “It’s really pleasing to see her take that opportunity today and hopefully she gets a few more throughout the series as well,” the 33-year-old said. On Devine’s 73-ball 89, Haynes said that the New Zealand all-rounder is world-class and this match might have helped their bowlers get some experience on what to expect from her. “We gotta make sure we are clear in our plans and execute it under pressure,” she concluded.