Sophie Devine scored a massive century as the White Ferns thrashed South Africa by 151 runs to make a bold opening to their Women's World Cup cricket campaign in India today.
Batting first after losing the toss, New Zealand scored 321-5 with Devine hitting 145.
The Kiwis then dismissed South Africa for 170 off 40 overs to complete a brilliant start in Cuttack.
It was a bold statement from New Zealand and with defending champions England suffering a last ball loss to Sri Lanka, they will have turned heads, especially on the back of their recent successes against Australia.
The New Zealand innings wasn't totally smooth though. The White Ferns lost the early wickets of Lucy Doolan and Amy Satterthwaite to be struggling at 27-2 in the eighth over.
But Devine joined skipper Suzie Bates to turns things around and engineer the huge total.
Bates (73 off 91 balls) was content to let Devine run rampant.
The 23-year-old Wellington right-hander crunched 13 fours and six sixes to defy her lean buildup to the World Cup and score her first ODI century.
Her runs came off just 131 balls as she was eventually out on the last ball of the innings.
Sara McGlashan chimed in with 32 and Nicola Brown crunched 40 off just 20 deliveries to help take New Zealand past the 300-mark.
The total always looked far too much for the South Africans who lost wickets steadily to crumble to a heavy defeat.
Opening bowler Sian Ruck (4-31) and left-arm spinner Morna Nielsen (3-34) dominated the New Zealand attack to complete a hugely satisfying day.
In other matches, Australia beat Pakistan by 91 runs and hosts India beat the West Indies by 105 runs in the tournament opener.
New Zealand play Pakistan in their next Group B match in Cuttack tomorrow.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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