Twenty20 World Cup: White Ferns must 'move on fast' from tournament-opening drubbing by champions Australia

Reeling from a comprehensive 97-run defeat to world champions Australia, the White Ferns must pick themselves up off the deck quickly to resurrect their T20 World Cup hopes against hosts South Africa on Tuesday (NZ time).

The NZ women were never really in the contest against their trans-Tasman opponents, allowing them to score 174/9 with the bat - their highest-ever score against the Kiwis - and then crumbling to just 76 - their lowest-ever T20 return - all out in the 14th over.  

Their cause was not helped, when veteran openers Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates suffered golden ducks in the opening over. 

Jess Kerr is bowled against Australia
Jess Kerr is bowled against Australia. Photo credit: Getty Images

Defeats don't come much more comprehensive than that, but Bates insists the margin was not a true representation of the rivalry.

"Probably not as big as today," she reflected. "I thought, the way they came out with the bat, even after we took an early wicket was really impressive.

"When you've got that depth in the line-up, they just keep coming hard at you, and we didn't quite respond with the ball or in the field. They probably got 20-odd over par on that wicket and losing two early wickets is never ideal when you're chasing a big score.

"We're really disappointed with that effort, we know we can compete with them better than that, so fingers crossed we get another opportunity in this tournament."

The South Africans have also found themselves on the backfoot, after dropping their opener against Sri Lanka, and can't afford to lose another, if they hope to reach the playoff stage of their own tournament.

"With the nature of these tournaments, we have to move on really fast and we all know that," she said. "We'll reflect tonight, but after that, we have to park it.

"The rest of the tournament is massive for us. You don't want to drop two games, in my opinion, and we've got three teams that we match up really well with.

"That's World Cup cricket - you can't expect to start slowly and necessarily make the quarter-finals. We've got a big, big game against South Africa, but if we win that, we're on track for where we want to be for the semi-finals."

Bates probably takes some comfort from the knowledge that a loss to the defending champions isn't a crippling blow - but another could be.

"How do we bounce back?" she mused. "We're really good at that - we know, in tournaments like this, one loss doesn't define you.

"You have no choice, but to pick yourselves up and show some resilience, and make sure we turn up on Monday night. This group is very good with that and I know there will be smiles and laughing on the bus tonight, because that's we work best as a team."

Join us at 6am Tuesday for live updates of the T20 World Cup clash between NZ and South Africa