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White Ferns finding one-day form

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/11/2016

The White Ferns have qualified for direct entry to the women's ODI World Cup, and with a squad skipper Suzie Bates says boasts both depth and experience. © Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images The White Ferns have qualified for direct entry to the women's ODI World Cup, and with a squad skipper Suzie Bates says boasts both depth and experience. Skipper Suzie Bates believes the White Ferns will go into next year's women's World Cup in England with an in-form squad boasting depth and experience.

The New Zealanders have picked up maximum points to date in their ODI series against Pakistan, cruising to a seven-wicket win in game four on Thursday in Nelson.

They are looking to complete a clean sweep in the fifth match at Saxton Oval in Nelson on Saturday.

The White Ferns have 24 points from 20 ODI matches in the ICC's women's championship series, and join Australia and England as direct qualifiers into the World Cup in England next June.

The top four sides from the championship series gain direct World Cup entry, while the bottom four sides have to qualify through a 10-team tournament in Sri Lanka in February.

Bates says building depth has been a real focus over the last year, with games against South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

"To be able to bring in the likes of (16-year-old legspinner) Amelia Kerr and give (pace bowler) Hannah Rowe an opportunity with the new ball are things we haven't perhaps been able to do in the past."

She says the White Ferns are showing the benefit of playing more cricket than ever before.

"We have in the past gone into winter tours really under-done," Bates said.

"You can train as much as you like indoors, but there's nothing like being out in the middle."

A Twenty20 match on Tuesday in Nelson will complete the Pakistan series, the New Zealand players then contesting their domestic competition before six or seven head across the Tasman for the Australian women's Big Bash competition.

Bates expects that extra playing time will prove real bonus for the Kiwis.

"It's brilliant for the players to be able to go over to those international competitions, be coached by different coaches and get access to all the resources in Australia."

The White Ferns regroup in February for a six-match tour of Australia taking in three T20s and three ODIs before beginning their training phase for the World Cup.

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