New Zealand v England 26 Feb 2021

Series: England in New Zealand Mar 2021
Venue: University Oval, Dunedin
Format: ODI
Toss: New Zealand
Result: England by seven wickets

Beaumont Guides England Home. Again.

Sophie Devine won the toss for the White Ferns and once again chose to bat first and despite a slight improvement still fell well short of setting England a challenging target.

England’s no nonsense fast bowler Katherine Brunt is often as much theatre as she is athlete. She steams in looking like she’s gotten out of the wrong side of the bed and it usually works. Today it was classic Brunt as she removed both Kiwi openers, Hayley Jensen (0) and Natalie Dodd (2) in quick succession. At the other end Nat Sciver joined the party, removing the captain Devine (6) and Amelia Kerr (2). When Kate Cross dismissed the experienced Amy Satterthwaite for 13, the SS Kiwi was heading for the rocks at 3-34 in the 14th over.

Enter the hour, enter the woman. Just as she did in the first ODI, Brooke Halliday, batting at number seven, once again set about working with the tail, risk free cricket and setting a total. She was out for 60 when the score was 137/8. She had at least set things right and her good work was continued by Hannah Rowe (29*) and the plucky Jess Kerr whose cameo of 28 helped the White Ferns to 192 all out.

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Jess Kerr took the pads off and opened the bowling for New Zealand. The energy drawn from the lusty blows with the bat was still with her when she took the ball, and three balls into the innings she removed Danni Wyatt for a duck. In her second over, the third of the innings, Kerr bowled to Tammy Beaumont who pushed to cover and called Heather Knight through. There was never a run. Knight was lucky to even be in the frame. Gone for just 8 runs and England looking in a bit of bother at 12/2.

If the bat had given Jess Kerr some impetus with the ball then the reverse must be true of Nat Sciver who came into bat and set about rebuilding with Beaumont who probably didn’t want to get out and join her captain in the dressing room. First the singles and how good special Beaumont is at rotating the strike. In this modern era the scoring of a single seems undervalued. It should never be the case, for it has more value than just a run.

Sciver continued the momentum and began to find the boundary. And a spot over the boundary. She was eventually dismissed for a bright 63 from 61 deliveries. There was still work to be done with England at 115/3. Amy Jones came to the crease and immediately clicked into gear. She struck eight boundaries in her 46 runs from 45 balls. She was not out with Beaumont (72*) at the end. Perhaps now it would be safe for Tammy to return to the dressing room, having guided England home.

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New Zealand 192  (Halliday 60, Sciver 3-26, Brunt 2-34) 49.5 overs
England 194/3 (Beaumont 72*, Sciver 63, Jones 46*, Halliday 1-18) 37.4 overs

Player of the Match: Nat Sciver