Here's why the White Ferns have another chance to upstage their male counterparts, the Black Caps, in another format of the ICC World Cup.
The only New Zealand cricket team to win on the global stage (they won the ODI women's crown — pipping Australia by four runs in Christchurch in 2009) now has a chance to add the Twenty20 one under way in Australia.
Kane Williamson and his men came up controversially shy during the ODI men's world cup in England last year when the hosts prevailed after the super-over phase.
Aussie bookies Sportsbet still rank their compatriots as the best chance to retain the T20 women's crown at $1.83 despite losing their opener to India. The latter firmed as second-favourites, at $3.75, after hopping, skipping and jumping their way to their second victory — over Bangladesh — in Perth on Tuesday. England ($6) and New Zealand ($8) follow but, I suspect, fifth-placed South Africa ($13) have the propensity to change that prediction.
Sri Lanka missed that boat after taking their foot off the throat of the Ockers on Monday. The gaggle of TV commentators and even the predictor (or the dreaded worm), it seems, aren't giving the likes of the Proteas a Tiddlywinks chance of doing the unthinkable despite inflicting a first-round loss on England.
Four-time champions or not, the tourney guarantees to trip any team that stubbornly opt for rigidity when the variables start kicking in as the venues are rotated from Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Canberra.
That's primarily the reason why the Sophie Devine-captained Kiwis look like giving themselves a decent chance of claiming the global bragging rights in the hit-and-giggle format.
Whether the White Ferns camp continues to trust its processes of adaptability remains to be seen but Devine has made the right noises for now. The most noticeable was her attitude to batting — that is, recognising when some lusty shots have done enough damage in an over to let reason dictate the tempo of mustering singles from the remaining balls.
The tourney has revealed enough excitement machines — Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu Jayangani, South Africa opener/captain Dane van Nierkerk, India teenager Shafali Verma and Australia's Alyssa Healy come to mind.
Nevertheless, switching to overdrive in the power-play overs isn't the key component to success, never mind how much TV bean counters try to market that concept to lure the great unwashed through the turnstiles.
Healy and Jayangani will attest to that. Consequently, Devine taking the advice of the adjustment bureau reduces the risk of New Zealand stumbling. The likes of Suzie Bates, with a more educated bat, needs to better define her portfolio with coach Bob Carter. As it stands, New Zealand aren't getting the best out of Bates who needs to accentuate her strengths and not try to be another Devine.
It's commendable when Jayangani goes on about playing "freely", "positively" and embracing their "natural" game but it seems it backfired on fellow opening batswoman Hasini Perera Madushika whose three-ball duck was a shadow of her 20 runs against the Kiwis.
Put another way, cricket is about pushing individual agenda but also not losing sight of the sum of those parts which contribute to collective gains. Jayangani and brilliant left-armer Udeshika Prabodhani can't do it alone.
That Jayangani had consulted a fellow senior player and then backed her worst bowler, Sugandika Kumari (10.86 an over), to deliver the final over in their five-wicket loss (with three balls to spare) to Australia not only shows a lack of choices but also a poor bowling blueprint. Damningly she had not imposed an attacking field before the death overs to stifle the match-winning batswomen, Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes, who gleefully took singles and doubles. Jayangani's batting ability isn't under scrutiny but will she be more useful without the burden of captaincy?
Too often in this tourney emotional bowlers have coerced their skippers into going up to the TV official for mindless challenges on crease umpires. A crazy review of Haynes later robbed them of a legitimate appeal on a nick from Lanning that could have dramatically dragged Big Mo into Sri Lanka's corner.
Devine, more often than not, consults her wicketkeeper and if there's a modicum of doubt calmly walks away.
Fielding has been a bugbear for most sides but the White Ferns have been relatively sharper. That is not to say they won't drop catches under pressure but that will, no doubt, be the difference in winning and losing in tight affairs at the world cup when push comes to shove. Sri Lanka, it seems, didn't learn from their New Zealand loss.
The possibility of net run rates dictating who proceeds into the playoffs from pool A is imminent. Whether the White Ferns beat India or not, the game against Australia will still be a tourney defining result.
Like their men, India women have a batting flair, especially if opening batswoman Smitri Mandhana gets going but they tend to become lackadaisical when asked to move their feet on the crease to balls whooshing generously past the off stump.
What 15-year-old Verma's prescription will be only time will tell but it's painfully obvious her dossier will be to rattle the cage. That means the New Zealand bowling attack will have to start better at Junction Oval on Thursday than they did against Sri Lanka.
Introducing second/third change bowler Hayley Jensen earlier seems prudent but everyone will need to find consistency in line and length.
In the batting department, the Kiwis should have had enough net sessions with Amelia
Kerr, Leigh Kasperek and Anna Peterson to see through Poonam Yadav if not take her out of the equation. Opening bowler Shikha Pandey is precise in the death overs.
Dare I say it, pay parity with the Black Caps is a distraction but focusing on the tourney — including a plucky Bangladesh on Saturday — can offer the White Ferns something more tangible to tender around the table with NZ Cricket.
As for England, a "Mankad" mindset might just be the elixir to kick start their campaign although Thailand are a given in pool B. It's a legitimate dismissal and diplomacy is best left to embassy staff.