Sophie Devine has celebrated good news for the New Zealand women’s cricket team with a history-making performance.
The White Ferns captain thumped the fastest century in women’s T20 history, from just 36 balls, to lead Wellington to a 10-wicket win over Otago in their domestic T20 match in Dunedin on Thursday.
Devine, who was playing her first game in almost eight weeks and only left managed isolation on Sunday having returned from the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia, finished with 108 not out from 38 balls.
The sublime display, which included nine sixes and nine fours, helped the defending champion Blaze reached their target of 129 in only the ninth over.
The 36-ball ton was two balls faster than the previous record for women’s T20 matches held by Deandra Dottin, who reached three figures from 38 balls for the West Indies in an interenational match against South Africa in 2010.
It was also the fastest a century had been reached in New Zealand domestic T20 history, beating the 40-balls achieved by Black Caps opener Tim Seifert for Northern Districts in 2017.
The stunning display came as New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed both the England and Australian women’s teams would be touring New Zealand before the end of the summer.
After finally gaining the necessary government support, NZC confirmed both teams will be making a visit for three T20s and three ODIs.
NZC chief executive David White said it was great to be able to confirm the tours at a time when women’s international cricket had ground to a standstill around the world.
“We’re very grateful to the New Zealand government for supporting and enabling these women’s tours and for creating an environment in which they can proceed.
“It’s great that New Zealand and the world will be able to see these two terrific women’s sides – Australia and England, in action against the White Ferns, and women’s cricket receiving the attention it deserves.
“And with the ICC Women’s World Cup to be hosted in New Zealand next summer, it’s particularly important that teams are able to play and compete and develop their games ahead of such a significant tournament.”
The England side will arrive in New Zealand on Saturday, January 26 and undergo the mandatory 14-day managed isolation period ahead of a nine-day training camp, which will include two warm-up games, in Queenstown.
Their ODI series against the White Ferns will start on February 23, with the three T20s to follow from March 3.
Less than a week after England depart, the Australia women’s side will arrive in the country and undergo managed isolation ahead of three T20s at Hamilton’s Seddon Park and three Rose Bowl ODIs at Mt Maunganui’s Bay Oval.
England are the reigning ODI world champions after winning the World Cup at Lord’s in 2017, while Australia women hold the mantle as T20 world champions after claiming that title in Melbourne last year.
Four of the T20s (three against England and one against Australia) will be double-headers alongside Black Caps fixtures, while two against England will played the day after a Black Caps match at the same venue.