New Zealand v England 23 Feb 2021

Series: England in New Zealand Mar 2021
Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Format: ODI
Toss: New Zealand
Result: England by eight wickets

Knight Stamps her Authority

There’s no better way for a captain to start a tour than by scoring runs, taking wickets and leading the team to victory. The only thing Heather Knight got wrong was the coin toss.

Sophie Devine won the toss for the White Ferns and chose to bat first. Hayley Jensen and Natalie Dodd opened for the home team against the England attack of bustling quick Katherine Brunt and the left arm seamer, Tash Farrant. Jensen was in a particular hurry and was savage on anything short outside off stump. Dodd was troubled by the ball swinging into her from Tarrant and was more cautious. It didn’t help. She was caught well by Danni Wyatt off Brunt for 8 runs.

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That dismissal brought about a procession. Amy Satherthwaite (3), Sophie Devine (16), Amelia Kerr (13), Katey Martin (14) all got bat on ball but in all cases finding the catching hands of fielders. Jensen rode her luck once too often and was bowled by Sarah Glenn for a streaky 53 from 58 balls.

Brooke Halliday on debut batted cleverly with the lower order as she compiled a very classy 50, showing a good deal more maturity than some of her counterparts. She was the final dismissal as the home team scored 178. Brunt (1-26) was typically difficult to get away while Farrant (2-31) showed just how troublesome a left-arm seamer can be. There are very few at this level. The spin twins of Glenn (1-18) and Sophie Ecclestone (2-36) performed well as did the captain when she rolled her arm over, collecting 1-14.

Tammy Beaumont opened the batting for England with Danni Wyatt and at times looked like she had a plane to catch. She was brutal on anything short, yet smart enough to take risk free singles when on offer. Anything bowled at the middle or leg stumps was paddled around the corner, turning the strike over. It was clever batting and just is needed from an opener. Wyatt looked good, but all too brief and was dismissed by the medium pace of Jensen.

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That merely brought Knight to the crease and the headache compounded for the White Ferns. The England skipper played some lovely delicate shots, but also clubbed an almighty six on her way to 67 from 69 balls seeing England home by eight wickets. Along the way she lost Beaumont 71, but the momentum continued with Sciver.

Either Knight or Beaumont could have been Player of the match but ultimately it was the skipper who stamped her authority in this first match of the series.


New Zealand 178  (Jensen 53, Halliday 50, Farrant 2-31, Ecclestone 2-36) 45.1 overs
England 182/2  (Beaumont 71, Knight 67*, Jensen 1-18) 33.4 overs

Player of the Match: Heather Knight