In 2018, prior to their tour of England, New Zealand Women made a halt in Ireland for a solitary T20I and three ODIs, which eventually turned out to be a complete run-fest for the White Ferns. New Zealand batted first in all three ODIs and crossed the 400-run mark in every single encounter. However, it was in the very first ODI where the Suzie Bates-led side smashed the highest total in all ODI cricket (both men and women) - 491/4. They broke their own previous record of 455/5, which was set in 1997 against Pakistan.
Opting to bat, openers Bates and Jess Watkin got New Zealand off to a phenomenal start. The duo added 172 in just 18.5 overs at a run rate of 9.13. The partnership was finally broken in the 19th over when a substitute fielder Rachel Delaney pulled off a stunning one-handed catch at deep square leg to send Watkin back for 62. Bates was batting on 89 off 59 when Watkin was dismissed and soon went on to complete her century.
Bates kept playing her shots and smashed 24 fours and two maximums in her 94-ball 151. She was finally dismissed on the final delivery of the 30th over. Her strike-rate of 160.63 was then the second highest in an innings of 100 or more in women's ODIs, only bettered by Meg Lanning's 206. New Zealand batters were unfazed by Bates departure and kept the attack going on the hapless Irish bowlers.
Batting at No. 3, Maddy Green smoked her maiden international century off just 62 deliveries. The right-hander blasted 15 fours and a six before she was dismissed by Lara Maritz for a 77-ball 122. Amy Satterthwaite (18-ball 21) and Bernadine Bezuidenhout (15-ball 23*) played decent cameos but it was Amelia Kerr who did most of the damage in the final few overs.
The allrounder smacked 81* off 45, studded with nine fours and three sixes. She added 76 for the fifth wicket in 38 balls with Bezuidenhout and almost broke the 500-run barrier. For Ireland, Cara Murray conceded 119 in her 10 overs, the most by a bowler in women's ODIs. Meanwhile, Maritz, Louise Little and Gaby Lewis also ended up conceding over 90 runs.
In response, Ireland were knocked over for 144 in 35.3 overs as the White Ferns secured the fourth-biggest win in women's ODIs - by 346 runs.
"I think the Irish team was without some of their key players and bowlers, and I don't know how many of them have bowled against players who consistently hit the ball hard. Look, we did play some really good cricket, to score 491 is pretty unbelievable no matter who it's against," Bates told ESPNcricinfo after the match. "When we won the toss, we had no doubt about batting first, but never would have thought we would score that amount of runs and go about it the way we did as a batting line-up."
New Zealand slammed 418 and 440/3 respectively in the next two ODIs and won both the matches with a margin of over 300. In the final ODI, Kerr smoked 232* off 145 balls - the highest individual score in women's ODIs - going past Belinda Clark's 229. Then when it was her turn to bowl, the legspinner scalped 5/17.
The White Ferns also became the first team in men's or women's ODIs to score 400 or more runs in three consecutive games.