Maia Bouchier says enjoyment key to England’s resounding win over New Zealand

Opening batter Maia Bouchier says enjoyment was key to England’s nine-wicket win against New Zealand in their opening one-day international.

England were dominant with both bat and ball in the first of three ODI matches in Chester-le-Street on Wednesday and will bid to seal a series win in Worcester on Sunday.

Bouchier made a 38-ball half-century in a 137-run opening partnership with Tammy Beaumont (76 not out) after England had bowled New Zealand out for 156.

England Women’s Maia Bouchier celebrates reaching her half century with Tammy Beaumont at Chester-le-Street
Maia Bouchier celebrates reaching her half century with Tammy Beaumont at Chester-le-Street (Nigel French/PA)

“Batting with Tammy was amazing. It was very enjoyable,” Bouchier said. “We both said we really loved batting together and that’s what was important, that we kept that enjoyment.

“We’re at the top of our sport and sometimes we can let pressure get to us. If we stop enjoying playing our cricket it can actually really affect you mentally.

“So I think in terms of going out there and enjoying our training, because our training is high-intensity and if we enjoy that we can transfer it on to the pitch.

“And being together as a team. You always get that sense of buzz and excitement and feeding off the adrenaline of each other helps.

“Being in front of a big crowd as well – I think they’re sold out at Worcester, which is exciting – we’re going to feed off that as a team. Enjoyment is so important.”

Bouchier had struck 12 fours and a six before she was caught by Suzie Bates off Brooke Halliday for 67, with England well on the way to a resounding win.

The Hampshire and Southern Vipers batter, who made a total of 293 runs during England’s white-ball tour of New Zealand in March and April, is hoping there is “lots more to come”.

The 25-year-old added: “Going into the first game I didn’t really expect to have such a good start and that’s what I’m looking to do for the next couple of games.

“The second game coming up is just as important, so if I can put in a performance for the team, that’s all I want to do.

“I’m in a very good space at the moment, mentally and physically, and that plays a massive part in how I’m doing on the pitch.

“My preparation and training as well, it’s going really well and I’m hoping to just transfer what I’ve been working on on to the pitch and do it consistently.

“That first performance has given me a lot of confidence, which is really nice.”