Bates blazes record as White Ferns book final

She was predicted to be the star of the women's cricket World Cup and Suzie Bates didn't disappoint today as New Zealand rumbled into Sunday's final against England.

Bates smashed 168 off 105 balls -- a New Zealand record and third-highest one-day international innings of all time -- as the White Ferns crushed Pakistan by 223 runs in the Super Six match at Drummoyne Oval to book their fourth World Cup final appearance.

Records tumbled at the tree-lined inner city oval as Bates and captain Haidee Tiffen added 262 for the second wicket, New Zealand's highest ODI stand for any wicket and just six short of the world record held by England pair Sarah Taylor and Caroline Atkins.

Tiffen scored a more sedate 100 off 128 balls to finally notch her first ODI century in her 116th match.

It boosted New Zealand to 373 for seven off their 50 overs, 82 short of their 1997 record total against the same opponents.

Pakistan dug in for 48.1 overs before the White Ferns dismissed them for 150, spinner Lucy Doolan leading the way with three for 30.

Still just 21, Otago allrounder Bates has packed plenty into an international sporting career which included a Beijing Olympics appearance for the Tall Ferns basketballers.

Tiffen had tipped Bates -- who holds the New Zealand domestic one-day record score of 183 not out -- as a potential tournament star but she started slowly with just 58 runs from four innings.

Fortunes started to turn when Bates guided New Zealand to a crucial five-wicket win over India with 47 not out on Tuesday, then she cut loose today for her second ODI century with a series of powerful drives through and over the field.

Nineteen fours and six sixes later, Bates passed Karen le Comber's New Zealand ODI record of 135 not out (against Ireland in 1996). Her first half-century took 49 balls, her second 32 and her third just 19.

"We got off to a good start and the wicket was the best we've played on this tournament. Haidee kept me ticking along and I seemed to be seeing the ball like it was a lot bigger than it was," Bates said.

"I didn't know about too many records. I knew my own highest score (122 against India) and that was about it. I was told to hit sixes and keep my head still, so that was easy to concentrate on.

"It's a huge honour and to do it (New Zealand record) at the World Cup is pretty special. I really enjoyed the day."

Her only blemish was on 122 when Nain Abidi dropped a tracer bullet at square leg. But with a double-century in her sights, Bates was caught on the long-on boundary.

Bates said the India innings boosted her flagging confidence as New Zealand eye an England rematch at North Sydney Oval.

England -- who suffered their first defeat against Australia today -- beat the White Ferns by 31 runs in their previous meeting, with captain Charlotte Edwards dominating.

"We've all been looking forward to (England) and we just wanted to get this game out of the way," Bates said.

"We lost to them but the girls are really up for a huge challenge. If we can build partnerships and put on big runs I think we have the bowling attack to finish it off."

Coach Gary Stead hailed Bates' "special innings" but admitted it was difficult to take much out of today's walkover.

It would at least ensure confidence was high after back-to-back wins.



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