England cruise to seven-wicket win; clinch tri-series title


England wrapped up the T20I leg of the home summer with a convincing seven-wicket victory over New Zealand to clinch the tri-series title on Sunday (July 1) at Chelmsford. Pacer Katherine Brunt’s double-wicket over triggered a dramatic collapse that restricted the visitors to 137 from their allotted overs before Danielle Wyatt’s second T20I century set up England for the comfortable chase.

Electing to bat in the final, Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates made an ideal start, striking at more than 10 an over for the first five overs of powerplay. Devine was particularly brutal, hitting Brunt for a couple of boundaries and then Shrubsole for a 16-run over. However, Brunt came back sharply to nip the threat in the bud as she sent back the hard-hitting opener for an 18-ball 31, followed by Katey Martin – both trapped lbw as New Zealand slipped to 57 for 2 after their powerplay overs.

The responsibility fell on Bates and Amy Satterthwaite to resurrect the innings but New Zealand could never recover from the double blow. The visitors lost four more in quick succession – the captain and vice-captain included – for the addition of only 45 runs. Barring Amelia Kerr, neither of the last seven could record a double-digit score as New Zealand huffed and puffed their way to a modest 137. Spin duo of Sophie Ecclestone and Danielle Hazell also picked two wickets apiece.

The hosts were hardly stretched in the sub-par chase with the in-form duo of Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont posting an opening stand of 81, in 75 deliveries, to set up England beautifully. It was New Zealand skipper Bates who finally broke the threatening partnership to earn a little breather for her side. Wyatt, who switched gears seamlessly towards the end of the powerplay to move on from 14 off 16 to a half-century off 34 balls, edged to Leigh Kasperek on the very next ball.

New Zealand had used as many as eight different bowling options but it was only Kerr who managed an economy rate of under six, to go with her two big strikes. The teenage legspinner took out Beaumont and Sarah Taylor off successive deliveries in the 13th over but considerable damage had been done by then for the visitors to make a game of it.

Lea Tahuhu was introduced into the attack only in the 14th over, and was taken to the cleaners. Natalie Sciver and skipper Heather Knight put on an unbeaten 39-run stand for the fourth wicket to wrap up the formalities as the hosts marched to the title win off the first ball of the 18th over.

Brief scores: New Zealand 137/9 in 20 overs (Sophie Devine 31, Suzie Bates 31; Danielle Hazell 2-20, Katherine Brunt 2-26) lost to England 141/3 in 17.1 overs (Danielle Wyatt 50, Tammy Beaumont 35; Amelia Kerr 2-22) by 7 wickets.

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