Cricket: White Ferns debutants impressive against Ireland

Suzie Bates and Jess Watkins
White Ferns openers Suzie Bates and Jess Watkins. Photo credit: Photosport

Debutants Bernadine Bezuidenhout and Jess Watkins have starred for the White Ferns, as the NZ women's cricket team opened its northern tour with a 10-wicket T20 win over Ireland.

After winning the toss, Ireland opted to bat first and scored 136/8, with Gaby Lewis smashing 61 runs off 45 balls.

But Bezuidenhout stole the show behind the stumps, where the rookie keeper effected five dismissals - three caught behind and two stumpings. Leigh Kasperek was the best of the bowlers, taking 3/25 off her four overs.

In response, New Zealand cruised to their target in just 11 overs and without losing a wicket.

Skipper Suzie Bates needed just 29 balls for her 63 runs, but if anything, she was overshadowed by Jess Watkins in her first appearance for the White Ferns.

Watkins was unbeaten on 77 runs from 38 balls, including 11 fours and three sixes.

The two sides face other for the second match of their four-game series on Friday (NZ time).