'Validates the work that we're doing behind the scenes' - Sophie Devine after win in final ODI versus England

New Zealand beat England by seven wickets in the final ODI in Hamilton.

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Sophie Devine
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Sophie Devine. (Source -Getty Images)

Sophie Devine expressed her delight upon winning the third and final ODI against England held at the Seddon park in Hamilton on April 7. The veteran New Zealand all-rounder described the seven-wicket win over the Heather Knight-led side as a validation of the hard work her side has done to enhance their position in world cricket.

Devine, the New Zealand skipper, led the charge during the 195-run chase with an unbeaten 100 off 93 deliveries, including 11 boundaries and four maximums. The 34-year-old, who emerged as Player of the Match, credited all her teammates for the consolation win. 

"The great thing was everyone chipped in. I thought Hannah Rowe was excellent up top, obviously Jess Kerr coming back in through the middle, the spinners did a great job as well. I'm a bit wary though of Suzie Bates thinking that she's going to be golden arm now, so we'll have to keep her in check. But just a fantastic all-around team performance, and I guess it probably validates the work that we're doing behind the scenes and knowing that when we get things right, we're going to be a hard team to beat," Devine was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

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When I got the opportunity today, I wanted to really knuckle down: Devine

Sophie Devine reflected on her match-winning century, expressing her determination to seize the opportunity she received. Leading from the front, she rallied her team after the early dismissals of Suzie Bates and Georgia Plimmer, with New Zealand stumbling at 14/2. She provided a pivotal century partnership with Maddy Green followed by a solid 76-run stand with Amelia Kerr. With 12 runs needed to win and reach her hundred, the 34-year-old  struck Charlie Dean over the deep midwicket fence twice in three balls to secure both. 

"I'd been chomping at the bit to get out there and just help the team I guess and wanting to lead from the front, so when I got the opportunity today, I wanted to really knuckle down. I've seen how hard these girls have worked the past couple of weeks on this series, and although results haven't gone our way, the work that's been going on behind the scenes I think is starting to show that we're trending in the right direction.

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"Obviously we've still got a lot of work to do to stay in touch with the Australias [and] the Indias, but winning games of cricket like that I think shows that that was, I'd say a comprehensive win for us against a top quality side. I just wanted to get the job done and be really ruthless with that, and then Nat Sciver-Brunt started to chirp me and said, 'you've got two shots, two balls, have a crack,' sort of thing. If someone eggs me on, yeah, I've got a bit of a rubber arm. So yeah, look, the way it went, I'm just happy to finish the game with some overs to spare," Devine added.

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