Cricket: Tearful Sophie Devine concedes White Ferns' Twenty20 World Cup campaign all but over after South Africa loss

Opening the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa with two heavy losses, White Ferns captain Sophie Devine concedes her side's chances are all but spent in the quest to end a 23-year wait for silverware.

On Tuesday, the White Ferns were bowled out for only 67 chasing 133 for victory against South Africa in Paarl, leaving New Zealand bottom of their group after two games.

And the nature of the defeat, combined with an equally as deflating loss to Australia on Sunday, the White Ferns' net run rate of -4.050 makes qualifying for the final four all but impossible.

Bernadine Bezuidenhout stumped against South Africa.
Bernadine Bezuidenhout stumped against South Africa. Photo credit: Getty Images

The White Ferns would need to secure two large wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, while hoping for favours from elsewhere.

And asked about her side's chances of qualifying for the next phase of the tournament, a visibly upset Devine didn't hold back in her appraisal of the White Ferns' tournament so far.

"Honest answer? It's bloody tough to make it now," said Devine. "I think the way that our run rate is absolutely out the window is a sign we're going to have to score about 8000 runs and restrict Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to about 20.

"Funnier things have happened, I guess. But we've put ourselves in this position and we have to be honest with that.

"That doesn't mean those games aren't valuable to us. We've got to hold ourselves to account, we've got to play with real pride.

"Every time we pull on the New Zealand shirt, it means a lot to this group. We're going to hurt, a lot, and that might take a couple of days.

"But certainly with this group, we've got to let it out, figure out why and have those discussions. But then we've got to get ourselves up.

Amelia Kerr against Australia.
Amelia Kerr against Australia. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Semi-finals are still a very, very, very small chance of happening, but we've still got two very important games against teams that can foot it with the best."

The nature of Tuesday's loss is concerning for the White Ferns, with the second time in two appearances at the tournament where the batting - often a strength of the team - has failed to fire.

On a pitch where run scoring seemed to be the go, the White Ferns' bowlers were excellent to restrict their hosts to 132/6, only for the batters to struggle, scoring at less than four runs per over before being bowled out. 

The defeat comes after similar scenes on Sunday, where New Zealand were rolled for 76 in chase of 174 by Australia.

Devine, though, is pointing the finger at herself, labelling the performance as an "embarrassment".

"I certainly thought it was a target we could reach," she said. "Obviously, we'd have to bat well against their quality bowling lineup, but I certainly thought it was a target we were capable of reaching.

"It's always difficult when you lose that many wickets in the power play and we probably got ourselves a little bit stuck there.

"I'm not sure too many words can describe the disappointment, and the embarrassment - that's not good enough for an international cricket side.

"I've got to take a lot of that as captain, and how I lead this team. 

"It's not good enough."

The White Ferns next face Bangladesh at Newlands on Saturday, and will likely finish against Sri Lanka in Paarl on Monday.