England Women breeze to Tri-Series title


England Women secured an emphatic seven-wicket win over New Zealand to clinch the Tri-Series title at Chelmsford.

SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED

Batting first, the White Ferns raced to 54-0 off fives overs before seamer Katherine Brunt took two wickets in three balls in the sixth over to change the course of the match.

Unable to maintain the momentum of the powerplay overs, the visitors lost regular wickets – with 19-year-old spinner Sophie Ecclestone bowling New Zealand captain Suzie Bates – as New Zealand set England just 138 to win.

Opening pair Danni Wyatt (50) and Tammy Beaumont (35) shared an 81-run first-wicket stand but stumbled slightly after the former was caught off Bates’ spin and teenage spinner Amelia Kerr took two wickets in two balls.

But England captain Heather Knight (17 not out) and Nat Sciver (21 not out) – playing in her 50th T20I – saw the hosts home to a seven-wicket win in 17.1 overs.

On the dry, fast outfield, Bates opted to bat first as New Zealand sought to claim a first win over the hosts in the Tri-Series and take the title.

The White Ferns’ opening pair took apart England’s quartet of Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Katie George and Ecclestone -smacking eight fours and two sixes in the first five overs to bring up their 50 in just 30 balls.

But, Brunt turned the game on its head in the final over of the powerplay, as she got the ball to nip back in to trap Sophie Devine lbw for 31 before Katey Martin got caught on her crease two balls later and was dismissed in a similar fashion.

Amy Satterthwaite and Bates (31) looked to keep up the scoring rate, trading boundaries but an arm ball from off-spinner Ecclestone was missed by the latter as her middle stump was clattered.

Once Satterthwaite was given out lbw to Danielle Hazell for 19, New Zealand never looked like posting a defendable total, with England’s two spinners returning collective figures of 4-46 off their eight overs.

New Zealand finished on below-par 137-9 with Kerr (12 not out) the only other White Ferns’ player to make double figures.

Looking to maintain their winning record at Chelmsford, England’s openers made hay but having brought up her half-century off 34 balls, Wyatt was caught – at the third attempt – by Leigh Kasperek off Bates.

Although Kerr has Beaumont caught at long on and bowled Sarah Taylor the next ball, England never looked in danger and got home with 17 balls spare.

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