Alyssa Healy has shrugged New Zealand mind games over their looming T20 World Cup clash. Image by Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS

cricket

Kiwis say all the pressure on hosts Aust

2020-02-28 00:16:58

New Zealand say all the pressure is on hosts Australia heading into their trans-Tasman clash to decide who makes the T20 World Cup semi-finals.

Australia bounced back from a shock loss to India and a narrow win against Sri Lanka in their opening matches by thrashing Bangladesh on Thursday night. 

New Zealand face Bangladesh on Saturday but even if they lose they could beat Australia in Melbourne on Monday and progress on net run-rate. 

Kiwi veteran Katey Martin delivered the first sledge after her side fell to India on Thursday afternoon, suggesting Australia could buckle under the expectations of a nation.  

“It’s effectively a quarter-final for us and you know we’ve got nothing to lose. All the pressure is on Australia, it’s their home World Cup,” Martin said. 

Australian batter Alyssa Healy, who has made a stunning return to form this tournament and is the World Cup’s leading run-scorer, said her side welcomed the expectation. 

“She loves a bit of banter old Katey Martin so it doesn’t surprise me at all (those comments),” Healy said.

“They’re well within their right to come out and try and put some pressure on us through their words but we’ll just focus on what we need to do.

“World Cups are incredibly difficult to win, we’ve been so successful at them by grinding wins out and every single team in this competition is going to come really really hard at us.

“We know that and sometimes we have to go into a defensive mindset and just absorb as much energy as we can and then push it back on them.

“We know it’s going to be tricky, we know that coming into this World Cup so there’s no extra pressure now.”

India has clinched their spot in the semis. South Africa, Pakistan, England and the West Indies all remain in contention for the two spots in the other group.