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England beat New Zealand by five wickets: fifth women’s T20 cricket international – live


Key events

The player of the series is the brilliant Maia Bouchier (223 runs at 56 with a strike-rate of 130)

The series couldn’t have gone much better. I wanted to contribute a bit more today but we’re really happy with the win. There was a little bit of pressure at the start of the series but to have an opportunity at the top of the order was really exciting. I’m really happy that I’ve been able to do well at this level. I want to do that consistently now.

Throughout the winter I’ve been working on the mental side of the game, trying to avoid distraction as much as possible. I always try and come back to enjoying the game. I always think: can I look to play really good cricket shots and not force anything? In the last couple of games it came off with a smile, and that’s all I want to do.

The player of the match is Nat Sciver-Brunt (31 from 27 balls, 4-0-24-2)

It’s great to get on a seaming wicket and explore that. It’s nice to adapt to different conditions and change your game when needed.

It would have been nicer if me and Heather were in at the end, but our partnership solidified the chase.

England win the T20I series 4-1

That was a slightly scruffy run-chase, and England looked a bit vulnerable against the spin of Amelia Kerr, but they got the job done to complete an impressive 4-1 victory.

This time Maia Bouchier was the only member of the top five who didn’t contribute. But she has been the star of the series and is in pole position to open alongside Danni Wyatt at the World Cup.

England win by five wickets with seven balls to spare!

18.5 overs: England 138-5 (Jones 6, Dunkley 6) Sophia Dunkley gets the job done, slashing her second ball for four to seal a good victory for England.

WICKET! England 132-5 (Knight c J Kerr b Mair 35)

England are stumbling towards the finish line. Knight lofts tamely to cover to end an accomplished innings of 35; England need 5 from 9 balls.

18th over: England 128-4 (Knight 34, Jones 5) The pressure created by that wicket is released when Amelia Kerr bowls an untimely no-ball. Amy Jones punishes her by slog-sweeping the free hit for four. Nine to win.

WICKET! England 121-4 (Sciver-Brunt b A Kerr 31)

Well bowled Amelia Kerr! She beat Nat Sciver-Brunt all ends up with a googly that kept low and hit the leg stump. New Zealand still have an outside chance of victory; England need 16 from 15.

Fifty partnership between Sciver-Brunt and Knight

17th over: England 120-3 (Sciver-Brunt 31, Knight 32) Knight clips Tahuhu for four to bring up the fifty partnership from 38 balls. It’s been a masterclass in risk management. You can never control risk completely in a T20 runchase but they have minimised it while scoring at eight an over.

The result is that England need 17 from 18 balls.

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16th over: England 113-3 (Sciver-Brunt 30, Knight 26) Knight pulls Jonas for four, with at least a single off the other deliveries. Sciver-Brunt and Knight are expert, unobtrusive finishers who have put England in complete control.

15th over: England 103-3 (Sciver-Brunt 28, Knight 18) Knight makes it back-to-back boundaries off the Kerrs by openin the face to steer Jess’s first delivery past short third.

Four singles off the last five balls make it another good over for England. New Zealand have got to break this partnership,

14th over: England 95-3 (Sciver-Brunt 26, Knight 12) Amelia Kerr brings herself back on and almost strikes when Knight mistimes a tenative shot that loops to safety on the leg side. I think it stopped in the pitch.

A very good over is tarnished when Sciver-Brunt top-edges a sweep over the keeper’s head for four off the last delivery. That boundary keeps the required rate down to seven an over, or 42 from 36 balls.

13th over: England 87-3 (Sciver-Brunt 20, Knight 10) An outstanding over from Tahuhu, bowling very straight to cramp Sciver-Brunt in particular for room. Just three runs from it, so England need 50 from 42 balls.

12th over: England 84-3 (Sciver-Brunt 18, Knight 9) Kerr misses a run-out chance off her own bowling, swivelling to throw wide of the stumps at the non-striker’s end with Knight barely in the frame. That feels like a big moment because England have the run-rate under control now, so wickets are essential. Sciver-Brunt reinforces that point by scooping the next ball for four.

11th over: England 76-3 (Sciver-Brunt 12, Knight 7) A surprisingly loose over from Mair, with a boundary ball apiece for Knight and Sciver-Brunt. Despite the wicket of Wyatt, England have scored 22 from the last two overs.

10th over: England 65-3 (Sciver-Brunt 7, Knight 1) Sciver-Brunt and Knight, together in yet another run-chase. They need 72 from 60 balls.

WICKET! England 64-3 (Wyatt st Gaze b A Kerr 21)

Danni Wyatt has gone! She charged Amelia Kerr, who saw her coming and slipped it a bit wider. Wyatt ran past it and Izzy Gaze completed a simple stumping.

Until then it had been a good over for England, with consecutive deliveries going to the boundary. The first beat Sciver-Brunt’s sweep and bounced past Gaze for four byes; the second was swept in the air past short fine leg.

9th over: England 54-2 (Wyatt 20, Sciver-Brunt 2) Wyatt has been starved of the strike a bit, facing only 20 of the 54 balls so far. She’s still going at a run a ball despite not hitting a boundary, and sweeps three off Jonas’s last delivery to turn an okay over into a good one for England.

8th over: England 45-2 (Wyatt 14, Sciver-Brunt 0) This is building up nicely. England need 92 from 72 balls.

WICKET! England 45-2 (Capsey c Green b Kerr 25)

Four and out for Alice Capsey. The ball after sweeping Amelia Kerr very fine for four, she tried to launch a straight six against the wind and dragged the ball to Maddy Green at long on. Capsey played pretty well to make 25 from 22 balls, though at times her strokeplay felt a bit forced.

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7th over: England 38-1 (Wyatt 13, Capsey 19) On comes the left-arm spinner Fran Jonas. Capsey is taking the lead in this partnership; she cuts and reverse-pulls consecutive deliveries to deep point for two. But overall it’s another pretty good over for New Zealand, five from it. This game is in the balance.

6th over: England 33-1 (Wyatt 12, Capsey 15) Rosemary Mair, who set the tone for this bowling performance with an exemplary first over, returns to the attack. Mair’s line is again very tight, but her last ball is fractionally wide and Capsey steers it past backward point for four. Beautifully played.

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5th over: England 27-1 (Wyatt 11, Capsey 10) Capsey hooks Tahuhu for four, then flicks a loose delivery very fine for another boundary. She’s such a dangerous player, whose brazen aggression can mess with a bowler’s mind, line and length.

England need 110 from 90 balls.

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4th over: England 18-1 (Wyatt 11, Capsey 1) Capsey survives a stumping chance! She charged Kerr, missed and was a long way out of her crease when the ball bounced out of Gaze’s gloves. It wasn a slightly awkward stumping – the ball kicked a bit and she probably saw it late – but she would usually manage it.

3rd over: England 16-1 (Wyatt 10, Capsey 0) That was the last ball of the over.

WICKET! England 16-1 (Bouchier c Gaze b Tahuhu 6)

Wyatt blasts the new bowler Tahuhu back over her head for … two. It would have been four but the ball stopped dead just inside the boundary. That was a bit weird.

New Zealand have started well with the ball. Tahuhu gets one to burst from a length to hit Wyatt on the arm – and then she takes the big wicket! Bouchier tried to glide to third man but got it too fine and Izzy Gaze took a comfortable catch. A tame end to a marvellous series.

2nd over: England 9-0 (Bouchier 6, Wyatt 3) Jess Kerr’s first ball bounces extravagantly past the face of a surprised Bouchier, who looks at the pitch with a smile.

When Kerr goes fuller, Bouchier chips stylishly over mid-off for the first boundary of the innings. That’s another very eye-catching stroke. Wyatt gets her first runs with a mistimed ramp past the keeper for three. I can’t type the word ‘ramp’ without hearing Richie Aprile’s voice; I guess some people are just lucky in life.

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1st over: England 1-0 (Bouchier 1, Wyatt 0) An excellent first over from Mair costs just one run, thick-edged wide of slip by Bouchier. Wyatt was beaten outside off stump, trying to cut her first delivery.

After a quick turnaround, here come the players. Rosemary Mair will open the bowling to Maia Bouchier.

England need 137 to win

20th over: New Zealand 136-6 (Gaze 51, J Kerr 6) Jess Kerr edges her first ball for four and slogs the second straight up in the air. Ecclestone, who took a marvellous return catch earlier in the innings, drops a sitter. The Wellington wind may have played a part.

The innings ends with Izzy Gaze reverse-sweeping for four to reach her maiden T2oI fifty from only 28 balls! That would have been a fantastic performance from any player, never mind a 19-year-old with a previous best score of 16. She batted beautifully: with clarity, defiance and just the right amount of arrogance.

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WICKET! New Zealand 125-6 (Halliday c Capsey b Ecclestone 33)

That’s a beautiful catch from Alice Capsey. Halliday clouted Ecclestone towards long on, where Capsey ran in and swooped to grab the ball two-handed just above the turf.

Five balls to go.

19th over: New Zealand 125-5 (Halliday 33, Gaze 46) The pressure applied by Gaze has led to a couple of misfields from England. Jones remains flawless, though, and does brilliantly to grab a yorker from Gibson that beats the bat and kicks nastily towards her face.

That’s a very good final over from Gibson – six from it, none in boundaries.

18th over: New Zealand 119-5 (Halliday 31, Gaze 42) Izzy Gaze, just 19, is playing a blinder. She cuts Sciver-Brunt’s first ball for four, ramps another boundary over Jones’s head and then hooks over deep backward square for six! A single off the last ball brings up a Gaze-dominated fifty partnership, New Zealand’s first for the sixth wicket in a T2oI.

Gaze has 42 from just 23 balls, and Nat Sciver-Brunt, who a moment ago had figures of 3-0-7-2, finishes with 4-0-24-2.

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17th over: New Zealand 102-5 (Halliday 30, Gaze 26) New Zealand score off every delivery of Dean’s over to continue their impressive recovery; she ends with 4-0-32-1.

16th over: New Zealand 95-5 (Halliday 28, Gaze 21) Gibson sees Gaze walking across and follows her, but Gaze contrives to glove her attempted ramp over the keeper’s head for four.

Gaze nails the same stroke later in the over, a terrific shot that also takes her to a career-best score. A big edge over backward point for three takes her to 21 from only 14 balls.

15th over: New Zealand 84-5 (Halliday 28, Gaze 10) Erm, I was daydreaming during that over, sorry. I know Charlie Dean bowled it, and Brooke Halliday went past her previous T2oI-best score of 27, but that’s about it.

14th over: New Zealand 79-5 (Halliday 25, Gaze 8) Lauren Filer ends a luckless spell with another sharp over that includes a false stroke from Gaze and a play-and-miss from Halliday. She finishes with reasonable figures of 4-0-22-0, but they’re a goshdarn lie – she bowled really well.

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13th over: New Zealand 76-5 (Halliday 24, Gaze 6) Now Ecclestone has her hands on her head, wondering how she hasn’t bowled Izzy Gaze. It was textbook stuff, a quicker ball that skidded on to the right-hander and would have hit the leg bail but for the thinnest inside-edge from Gaze. Instead of getting her third wicket, Ecclestone conceded four runs.

WICKET! New Zealand 69-5 (Green ct and b Ecclestone 10)

Sophie Ecclestone has taken a blinder off her own bowling. Maddy Green danced down the track and walloped the ball back at Ecclestone, who reached instinctively to her left to take a marvellous two-handed catch. She puts her hand over her mouth, surprised by her own brilliance.

12th over: New Zealand 69-4 (Green 10, Halliday 23) Heather Knight continues to shuffle her bowlers. Gibson is timed stylishly over extra cover for three by Halliday, who continues to look in excellent touch.

Green has a bit of fortune later in the over when a leading edge loops to safety on the off side.

11th over: New Zealand 63-4 (Green 9, Halliday 18) Ecclestone off, Dean on. Halliday blasts her first legitimate delivery straight to long off, where Gibson drops a sharp but relatively straightforward catch. To compound her frustration, the ball disappears over her shoulder for four. A large helping of singles, wides and twos make it a good over for New Zealand, 13 from it.

This fifth-wicket pair have now doubled the score, a fine effort in the circumstances. New Zealand were in all sorts when they came together.

10th over: New Zealand 50-4 (Green 8, Halliday 10) Filer returns to the attack. She’s troubled all the batters today, with an average speed of 74mph, and she almost gets a deserved wicket off the last ball of the over. Green, beaten for pace, looped the ball tantalisingly on the off side. Filer ran across and dived forward but couldn’t quite reach it.

9th over: New Zealand 46-4 (Green 7, Halliday 8) Halliday, who has started with a busy authority, drives Ecclestone over the covers for a couple. Then Green gets the first boundary of this partnership with a deceptively well-timed push through the covers.

8th over: New Zealand 37-4 (Green 1, Halliday 5) Having taken two catches in as many overs, Dani Gibson comes into the attack. A quiet over, sensibly milked for five runs. This is no time for big shots.

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7th over: New Zealand 32-4 (Green 0, Halliday 1)

WICKET! New Zealand 31-4 (Plimmer c Gibson b Ecclestone 12)

England are running riot. Sophie Ecclestone, on for Nat Sciver-Brunt, sees Charlie Dean’s fifth-ball wicket and raises it by striking with her second. Plimmer comes down the track, more in hope than expectation, and picks out Gibson at deep mid-on.

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6th over: New Zealand 29-3 (Bates 10, Green 0) That’s the end of a superb Powerplay for England, their best in the field all series.

WICKET! New Zealand 29-3 (Bates c Gibson b Dean 11)

Charlie Dean, who took four wickets in the fourth T2oI, strikes with her fifth ball. Suzie Bates came down the track and dragged straight to mid-on, where Dani Gibson took a comfortable catch. That’s a hammer blow for New Zealand.

5th over: New Zealand 22-2 (Bates 10, Plimmer 4) Sciver-Brunt continues. Wyatt misses a run-out chance from midwicket, with Bates well short after being called through for an iffy single by Plimmer.

That single is the only run from another terrific over by Sciver-Brunt, who has figures of 3-0-7-2. She might as well bowl straight through.

4th over: New Zealand 21-2 (Bates 10, Plimmer 3) A Filer no-ball means a free hit for New Zealand, though Bates can only club it over the bowler’s head for a single.

Plimmer doesn’t look too comfortable against Filer. She’s beaten, slices a couple over the cover and then wears a short ball on the body. Bates takes a more aggressive option, charging down the track to belt successive deliveries for four and two.

3rd over: New Zealand 10-2 (Bates 3, Plimmer 0) Heather Knight said she would have bowled first had she won the toss; you can see why. The new ball is doing a bit and England have started superbly.

WICKET! New Zealand 10-2 (A Kerr c Capsey b Sciver-Brunt 5)

Two for Nat Sciver-Brunt. Amelia Kerr, stuck in the crease because Amy Jones has come up to the stumps, mistimes a lofted straight drive high in the air. Alice Capsey runs round from mid-on to take a comfortable catch.

2nd over: New Zealand 9-1 (Bates 2, A Kerr 5) Lauren Filer shares the new ball. Her extra pace takes a bit of adjustment; after missing a couple of attacking strokes outside off stump, Kerr premeditates a ramp for four. A terrific over from Filer ends with a big inswinger that Kerr inside-edges onto the pad.

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1st over: New Zealand 5-1 (Bates 2, A Kerr 1) The captain Amelia Kerr is the new batter.

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WICKET! New Zealand 4-1 (Bezuidenhout c Jones b Sciver-Brunt 1)

An early wicket for England. Nat Sciver-Brunt, who almost bowled Suzie Bates with the first ball of the match, has Bernadine Bezuidenhout caught behind later in the over. Bezuidenhout tried to cut a ball that cramped her for room and took a thin edge through to Amy Jones. The end.

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Here come the players. It’s a windy day in Wellington – who knew – although the sun is shining brightly. Suzie Bates and Bernardine Bezuidenhout will open the batting.

Team news

One change for England: Lauren Filer replaces Lauren Bell, who is being rested ahead of the ODI series.

New Zealand make two changes: Georgia Plimmer and Lea Tahuhu come in for Hannah Rowe and the injured Sophie Devine.

New Zealand Bates, Bezuidenhout, A Kerr (c), Plimmer, Green, Halliday, Gaze (wk), J Kerr, Tahuhu, Mair, Jonas.

England Wyatt, Bouchier, Capsey, Sciver-Brunt, Knight (c), Jones (wk), Dunley, Gibson, Ecclestone, Dean, Filer.

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New Zealand win the toss and bat

Amelia Kerr, who is captaining New Zealand on her home ground in the absence of Sophie Devine, says it looks a decent pitch and highlights that all four games have been won the team batting first.

Heather Knight isn’t too disappointing after losing yet another toss – she says England would have bowled first.

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Preamble

Look, there are no dead rubbers, not in a World Cup year. Sure, England have an unassailable 3-1 lead going intotoday’s fifth and final T20I, but this series was only ever partly about winning. Both New Zealand and England are still working out their squads and XIs for the T20 World Cup in September, and this match should give them more protein for the noggin.

Maia Bouchier has already taken the fast lane into the England squad, and perhaps the first XI, with two performances of coruscating brilliance in Nelson and Wellington. A third successive fifty would make her undroppable, if she isn’t already, going into the home summer.

England may decide to have a look at some of their fringe players, including Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Filer in particular. There are eight more T20Is this summer, so this isn’t the be-all and end-all for this players, but life can move pretty fast when a World Cup is on the horizon.

Sophie Devine’s quad injury means New Zealand will have to make at least one change as well. We’ll have the toss and team news shortly.

The match begins at midnight GMT, 1pm in Wellington.





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