A batting lesson from New Zealand
We always knew that the World Cup was going to be a learning experience and if we needed a lesson in how to deliver one of the best batting performances of all time then we saw it on Thursday with Suzie Bates and Haidee Tiffen’s amazing 262-run partnership.
Suzie’s innings in particular was the best-ever innings I have ever seen, even if we did help her by bowling both sides of the wicket. The way she powerfully struck our bowlers all around the ground was quite incredible and a great lesson for us to observe.
The New Zealand and Pakistan teams have become very close during this event, ever since we played a warm-up game against each other, and they have been very helpful at passing on tips to us about how to make it at the top level.
They perhaps weren’t as kind to me when they hit 20 runs off my only over, but you certainly learn a lot more quickly when you are playing against the top players, rather than just watching footage on television or following the scores on the internet.
We need to learn from the way New Zealand works the ball around for singles during its batting, as well as improving our counter-attack play, especially ahead of the World Twenty20 in June, as sometimes we get too bogged down when we are batting. That comes with match experience, as well as more time in the gym, and we are all dedicated to improving our games.
Haidee Tiffen, at the post-match presentation, said some really nice things about our team and we are really proud that we have made such a big impression on one of the leading teams at the event. I know that Nain Abidi was very happy that Haidee took the time to come up to her and congratulate her on her fifty, which is a great effort against a quality bowling attack like New Zealand.
It would be great to finish off our memorable campaign with a win against the West Indies, who I think we played our best game against during this tournament.
To come from tenth in the world rankings in early 2008 to fifth in the world in 2009 would be an incredible achievement and a real inspiration to girls in Pakistan to take up the sport.
I don’t want to lose my place in the team just yet, but it would be fantastic to think that we can inspire a new generation of girls to play the game, in the same way that the victory of the Pakistan’s men’s team at the World Cup in 1992 inspired me to play the sport for the first time.
The New Zealand team has said it will be supporting us against West Indies, while we will definitely be cheering them against England in the final. I just can’t wait for the weekend matches to begin!