Devine intervention a timely reminder for Lanning
Sophie Devine made Junction Oval her own on Thursday and Australia will hope history does not repeat itself in next month's World Cup
Laura Jolly at Junction Oval
9 January 2020, 09:20 PM AEST
In the unlikely event Australia captain Meg Lanning had forgotten just how much of a threat in-form New Zealand allrounder Sophie Devine will pose in the upcoming T20 World Cup, she received a timely reminder at Junction Oval on Thursday.
Devine, reigning Rebel WBBL Player of the Tournament, put on a stunning display for Western Australia in the domestic 50-over Women’s National Cricket League, striking a match-winning 109 from 103 deliveries to upset Lanning’s star-studded Victorians on their home turf.
It is at Junction Oval that Devine and Lanning will meet again in less than two months’ time, when the trans-Tasman rivals face off in a World Cup group match on March 2.
That game could very well prove make or break for Australia and New Zealand, who have found themselves in a strong group alongside another title fancy in India - and Lanning will surely be hoping Thursday's performance was not a sign of things to come.
"Sophie Devine batted really well again, she probably showed us all how to bat on that wicket," Lanning said after Western Australia wrapped up a 25-run win on Thursday.
"I wasn’t really thinking about (the World Cup) today, we were just thinking about trying to get her out.
"She was the difference between the two teams today ... she’s a class player and she certainly shone through today."
Devine looms as the key for the White Ferns, who have failed to make the semi-finals of the last two ICC tournaments but who will be buoyed by their star allrounder’s freakish feats of late.
During WBBL|04, she hit a staggering 769 runs at 76.9 – almost breaking Ellyse Perry’s record of 777 runs in a single season – while picking up a more than handy 19 wickets at 20.68 with her pace bowling.
And just when Lanning and her Victorian teammates thought they’d seen the last of Devine, for now at least, she returned to don Western Australian colours for the second round of the WNCL.
It was an appearance that had some scratching their heads, given New Zealand’s own domestic T20 competition is currently underway – in fact, Devine turned out for Wellington on January 3, before skipping across the Tasman to play for WA in the first of their two games against Victoria on January 7.
But the 30-year-old was eager to repay the WACA after taking on a Western Australia contract this year and spending the winter training in Perth.
"I was really fortunate to be offered a contract with WA and to be part of that group was awesome," Devine explained to cricket.com.au during the WBBL season.
"To be able to train day in and day with a great group of girls made it easy for me, rather than being stuck at home in New Zealand training by myself."
Thursday’s game will be Devine’s final WNCL appearance for the season, with the allrounder to return home ahead of New Zealand’s upcoming limited-overs series against South Africa, before returning to Australia in mid-February for the World Cup.
2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup
February 15: Australia v West Indies, Allan Border Field
February 18: Australia v South Africa, Karen Rolton Oval
February 21: Australia v India, Sydney Showgrounds
February 24: Australia v Sri Lanka, WACA Ground
February 27: Australia v Bangladesh, Manuka Oval
March 8: Final, MCG
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE
* All matches will be broadcast on Fox Cricket and Kayo, while Australia’s matches will also be broadcast on the Nine Network