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Women’s T20 World Cup: New Zealand rue missed chances against India

Katey Martin says New Zealand desperately need to tighten up their fielding after two dropped catches against Shafali Verma proved costly in their three-run defeat to India.

The White Ferns managed to hold India at 133 for eight in Melbourne, dismissing Smriti Mandhana for 11 and captain Harmanpreet Kaur for one, but they were left ruing missed opportunities to remove the dangerous Shafali.

Shafali, who won her second Player of the Match award for her 34-ball 46, was given twin lives after Maddy Green and Lea Tahuhu spilled opportunities to send her back to the dugout.

And Martin says her side has no option but to fine tune their fielding if they want to progress to the Women’s T20 World Cup knockout stages.

“We are ruing those missed opportunities in the field,” said Martin, who put on a 43-run partnership with Green to keep New Zealand in the game. “We batted really well in the end to get us so close.

“There are some tough chances, but we really need to be taking those. We’ve been making big strides in our fielding and it’s something we normally pride ourselves on.

“We put a big focus on getting off the boundary rope. We will continue to do the work we’ve been doing and hopefully some of those chances will begin to stick and go our way.

“We now have a must-win match against Australia in our last game, but before then we’d rather be in a position where we have an opportunity to go through or not. We’re fully focused on our next game against Bangladesh.”

Shafali was denied her first Women’s T20 World Cup half-century by the ever-impressive Amelia Kerr, the teenage New Zealand leg-spinner taking the innings-changing wicket before coming close to rescuing a comeback for the White Ferns with 34 runs late on.

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