ENG v NZ (W) 2024, ENG-W vs NZ-W 1st T20I Match Report, July 06, 2024 – Viral News

England 197 for 3 (Wyatt 76, Sciver-Brunt 47, Tahuhu 2-33) beat New Zealand 138 for 9 (Bates 43, Glenn 3-16, Dean 2-28) by 59 runs

Danni Wyatt’s rapid half-century set England up for a commanding victory in the first of five T20Is with New Zealand in Southampton.

Wyatt faced just 51 balls for her 76, which included 11 fours and a six, to lead England to an imposing total of 197 for 3 after the White Ferns had won the toss. She was well supported by a powerful 47 in 23 balls from Nat Sciver-Brunt and opening partner Maia Bouchier, who added 32 off 26. It was a class batting performance by England who manipulated the crease beautifully to time the ball and find gaps throughout their innings, producing their best T20I score against New Zealand and second-highest in the format on home soil.

England experimented with four spinners and, between them, they took seven of the nine wickets to fall. The move worked not only from a result point of view as England wrapped up a 59-run win, but with their football side kicking off in a Euro 2024 quarter-final against Switzerland at 5pm local time, they had only missed 26 minutes by the finish, with the score still 0-0. Legspinner Sarah Glenn finished with 3 for 16 and offspinner Charlie Dean took 2 for 28. Left-arm seamer Freya Kemp took a wicket with the last ball of the match in her return to bowling after battling a back injury.

Wyatt, Bouchier look nailed on

Captain Heather Knight said on match eve that England were keen to test potential T20 World Cup combinations and tactics during this series and they understandably stuck with an in-form Bouchier as opener alongside Wyatt. Bouchier enjoyed a breakout tour of New Zealand earlier this year and was Player of the Series in the home sweep of three ODIs.

Wyatt crunched the first ball of the match, a short, wide one from Fran Jonas, through backward point for four and Bouchier chimed in three balls later with a sublime cut which rocketed through point. Wyatt struck two fours in three Sophie Devine deliveries to move England 52 without loss after six overs with both batters having already racked up five boundaries each. Bouchier threw her head back in frustration after she sidestepped to latch onto a Lea Tahuhu short ball but ended up picking out Georgia Plimmer at deep midwicket. But her efforts had helped England off to an excellent start in a 61-run opening stand with Wyatt, who forged on, hammering the first six of the day advancing to Eden Carson and sending the ball way over the rope at deep midwicket.

England get a little funky

If Wyatt and Bouchier looked nailed on at the top of the order, England played around with the middle order. Nat Sciver-Brunt, at No. 3, carried on the form she showed with an unbeaten 76 in the third and final ODI in Bristol on Wednesday. Sciver-Brunt struck back-to-back fours off Jess Kerr, pulled to the leg side and driven over extra cover, and three more in succession off Carson to take the partnership with Wyatt past 50, then 60 and keep England on track for a big total. Wyatt brought up her fifty off 36 balls with a single off Brooke Halliday. Carson couldn’t cling onto what would have been an outstanding catch at backward point when Wyatt was on 54, then Sciver-Brunt holed out to Amelia Kerr at midwicket off Carson.

Freya Kemp, back in the side as an allrounder after playing as a batter only during a lengthy return from a back stress fracture, came in at No. 4 and made a valuable 26 from 17 balls. It wasn’t until Wyatt lofted Tahuhu’s slower ball high into the air and into the hands of Maddy Green just inside the boundary at deep square leg that Knight came to the crease. By that stage, Kemp was finding a nice rhythm and Knight simply played a supporting role as Kemp steered Amelia Kerr to the deep third boundary before lofting the same bowler effortlessly down the ground for a towering six, then drove Devine with authority through backward point.

NZ recover from shaky start

New Zealand were off to a disappointing start when Georgia Plimmer was run out for a third time on this tour, thanks to a pinpoint direct hit from Sciver-Brunt. Continuing their commitment to giving things a go with one eye on the World Cup, Linsey Smith, one of four specialist spinners in the England line-up, entered the attack in the third over. Despite being behind England at the end of the powerplay on 45 for 1, New Zealand held firm via Suzie Bates and Amelia Kerr. They brought up their fifty partnership for the second wicket via a Kemp misfield at midwicket which went for four followed by a single from Bates, which Kemp stopped. But, no sooner had they done so than Amelia Kerr picked out Bouchier at long-on to give Dean her first wicket.

Spinners come to play

Bates fell three balls later attempting a reverse sweep off Glenn and dragging the ball directly onto her stumps. Glenn was on a hat-trick after bowling Green first ball, a straight one that went through the gate and crashed in to middle stump. Halliday survived the hat-trick ball but Devine started walking before the ball even started to drop into the hands of Bouchier at long-on to give Glenn a triple-wicket over in the 10th with New Zealand floundering at 64 for 5. Having been rested for the third ODI, spin attack leader Sophie Ecclestone had Izzy Gaze stumped first ball as New Zealand lost five wickets for four runs in the space of 14 balls.

It could have been worse had Glenn held a sharp return catch off Jess Kerr in the next over. Glenn, who had bowled with excellent control, saw another catch go down at short cover, where Dean dived and thrust out her left hand but couldn’t cling on.

Sciver-Brunt spilled a return catch off Halliday, on 12, but Dean bowled Halliday in the next over for 17, ending a 43-run stand. Jess Kerr played defiantly for 38 off 26 balls, her highest score at international level, to be New Zealand’s second-highest run-scorer. Three more chances went begging in the penultimate over, bowled by Smith, the last quite blameless as Kemp did her best stumbling over the boundary rope but couldn’t parry it back to herself as she jumped back in. Smith finally had Jess Kerr out with her last delivery, caught by Sciver-Brunt at long-off.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women’s cricket, at ESPNcricinfo

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