Lane wary of White Ferns
England women's head coach Mark Lane has warned his charges that New Zealand will present a much sterner challenge in the NatWest Series than Ireland did in Wednesday’s one-day international.
England warmed up for the five-match contest against the White Ferns with a comfortable 147-run victory over Ireland at Kibworth CC near Leicester.
Lane was pleased with that display, notably Laura Marsh’s maiden ODI fifty and Katherine Brunt’s fierce bowling, but he reminded England of what lies in store against the 2-1 victors of the recent Twenty20 series.
“It's given us a little bit of confidence,” he told Claire Taylor on ECBtv.
“The batters have spent a bit of time out there and Laura Marsh has got her career-best top-score in international cricket. But I don’t think it tells us too much.
“I think the Kiwis will be a lot different to the Irish, although it sounds like the Irish had a really enjoyable few days here.
“The Kiwis will be a lot tougher, a lot more disciplined and I suspect their bowling might be a little bit more penetrative.”
England and New Zealand are familiar foes, having faced one another four times last year, including in the World Cup and World Twenty20 finals, prior their three Twenty20 meetings in the last fortnight.
As such, Lane knows what the home team must do to prevail in the 50-over series that begins tomorrow at Taunton.
“I’m looking for contributions; I’m looking for some fight, some inner drive,” he added.
“I’m looking for people to stand up and be counted and I’m looking for some good pace bowling and some craft with our spinners and you batters to knock off some big totals.”
One such performance came versus Ireland courtesy of Yorkshire fast bowler Brunt, who took a miserly 1-13 from eight aggressive overs.
The 25-year-old struck Clare Shillington on the arm, forcing the opener to retire hurt, before trapping Isobel Joyce - sister of Essex batsman Ed - in front.
“It’s kind of what we’ve been waiting to see from Katherine Brunt, if I’m really honest,” revealed Lane, whose side play the fourth ODI against New Zealand in Brunt’s home town.
“I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of that sort of hostility, hopefully at Barnsley on her home ground.
“I’m not sure how far or how high it will bounce down at Taunton, which is renowned for runs. But it was good to see she had a bit of fire in her belly and bowled with some real heat.”