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Australia women vs New Zealand women, 1st T20I, 2020

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine refused to hide behind the lack of the Decision Review System (DRS) after their T20I series opener defeat against Australia in Brisbane, saying her team will need to take “a long, hard look in the mirror” in the short turnaround before Sunday’s second outing.

The absence of DRS, which is currently being used in the England-West Indies series, came to the fore in the 14th over of Australia’s innings when Nicola Carey clearly edged Devine but was given not out on the field. Carey soon wore a sheepish grin, with team-mate and non-striker Ashleigh Gardner knowing she had edged it. If the decision had been given in New Zealand’s favour, it would have been Devine’s third wicket of the over to leave Australia 6 for 82.

While Carey would only go on to make 7 off 12 balls, if Australia had been six down with six overs still to go, it might have made Gardner more reluctant to launch her game-changing counterattack that would end up proving decisive. With the bat Devine was then on the receiving end of a very marginal stumping decision although that would not have been changed by the presence of DRS.

“If the technology is available across the series then absolutely [we’d like it], but we know there’s no DRS this series so we’ll just have to live with it,” Devine said. “We have full trust and faith in the umpires. They’ll make mistakes, just like us players do.

“We also know there’s an extreme cost that comes with [DRS] and we all know [in] the current situation that purse strings are probably a little bit tighter. We can’t look to DRS to save our hinds. We’ve just got to be better, can’t finger point anywhere but ourselves. The Australian side was clinical and got the job done.

“We’ll have to take a long, hard look at ourselves in the mirror tonight because it wasn’t good enough. We should have won that game. It’s frustrating. In the field I thought we were poor: we missed a lot of simple ground balls that nine times out of 10 we’d collect those. We can’t use the excuse that we haven’t played in a while.

“We probably let the Australians get 20-30 more than they should have then I’d back ourselves to chase that down with a couple of overs to spare, but poor decisions were made with the bat and left too much to do at the end.”

Gardner, whose 61 off 41 balls was the standout innings of a match where others struggled for their timing, expected DRS to become a regular feature of the women’s game in years to come.

“Where the women’s game is going there should be no reason not to use the technology if it’s there,” she said. “Probably within the next one or two years it will be something adapted all around the world.”

The 17-run margin of this match – and Australia’s recovery from 5 for 82 – followed the T20 World Cup outing earlier this year where New Zealand fell five runs short of victory. “We’ve got them in threatening positions and need to put the foot on the throat, to put it bluntly, but we know how good the Australian side is and depth they’ve got,” Devine said.

Reflecting on her matchwinning innings, Gardner said that vice-captain Rachael Haynes had given her early advice about not attacking too early and then she was able to take advantage of the strong breeze. She peppered the deep midwicket area for her three sixes although arguably her best stroke was the lofted inside-out cover drive which brought up her fifty off 37 balls.

“When I got out there we were three for not too many. Rach and I spoke about rebuilding a little bit,” Gardner said. “She said just take your time because you can catch up at the back end which I was able to do. Conditions played in my favour a little as well, the wind was blowing quite strongly one way which I was able to take advantage of and I really tried to nail that.”

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