New Zealand v England: first women’s cricket ODI – live

Key events

25th over: New Zealand 103-2 (Kerr 4, Plimmer 1) This is where Ecclestone and Dean are so good in tandem in the middle overs of ODIs – both accurate and both able to get back to their mark to keep the pressure on the batters. In this case, a couple of singles from the off-spinner and that’s their lot, all in a flash of time. The White Ferns will surely need to go at better than a run a ball from here to get to a credible target.

24th over: New Zealand 101-2 (Kerr 3, Plimmer 0) Georgia Plimmer, the youngster in her hometown who was recalled to the national team last week, is in at No4. Her international numbers across 35 matches are poor, averaging 12 in ODIs and 11 in T20is, but she did have a pretty good ‘A’ series against England, thus the 20-year-old’s return.

WICKET! Bezuidenhout lbw b Ecclestone 33 (62). New Zealand 100-2

The ball after the White Ferns bring up their 100, Bezuidenhout is undone with an ugly swipe across the line against Ecclestone – she missed, the back pad was hit, the finger goes up. No reviewing that. An altogether unconvincing innings comes to an end.

23rd over: New Zealand 98-1 (Bezuidenhout 33, Kerr 3) Five off Charlie Dean and, spoiler, you’re going to want to read the next post as… there’s a development.

22nd over: New Zealand 93-1 (Bezuidenhout 31, Kerr 1) Alright, I’ve managed to get TNT on my actual telly, so we’re just about back in business here tethering my computer to data. Boring, boring but here we are. Sorry! On the field: the captain is in at No3 and is off the mark first ball. Three from Ecclestone’s over.

WICKET! Bates st Jones b Dean 50 (74). New Zealand 90-1

Just when New Zealand were having a good 20 minutes or so, the 21st over, where eight runs had been taken to that point with runs from each ball, ends with Bates running past one and getting herself stumped. Charlie Dean has a golden arm.

20th over: New Zealand 77-0 (Bates 47, Bezuidenhout 29) Five more off Ecclestone is it? That makes three relatively reasonable overs on the trot. White Ferns are go!

19th over: New Zealand 77-0 (Bates 44, Bezuidenhout 27) Ahh, Charlie Dean into the attack – be still my offspinning heart. Big fan of her game. Oh, so is Bezuidenhout though, hitting her first ball for four. Unclear to me where exactly this shot went as I’m still getting my tech to behave. Six off the over. Bare with me.

18th over: New Zealand 71-0 (Bates 43, Bezuidenhout 22) Six off Ecclestone, which is an achievement to begin with. Better still than five of those runs came from Bezuidenhout who might be taking Bates’ lead here. The junior partner still has some catching up to do (like me): she’s 22 from 44. Can she shift gears?

This is all a bit less than ideal – my internet has died, the modem is in my sleeping baby’s room and 4G/5G doesn’t feel like playing ball either. Bare with me! It’s still 0fa.


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17th over: New Zealand 65-0 (Bates 42, Bezuidenhout 17) Good call not going upstairs – was umps call. Bell continues from the Adelaide Road End and it’s a signal for Bates to set the example and live and little, walking down the track and lifting the big quick over midwicket for four. But as has been the custom so far today, the response is a very good one with the ball seaming away from the edge and beating it once again. Ten off the over though – the best of the innings, and something to build from.

16th over: New Zealand 55-0 (Bates 35, Bezuidenhout 15) Her ears were burning – here is Ecclestone, the best in the world. And sure enough, she’s through her first over in about 75 seconds conceding just two singles in the process. There’s a leg before shout to finish with Bates going across her stumps but Heather Knight decides against going upstairs. Close though. New Zealand have absorbed 68 dot balls in 16 overs.

15th over: New Zealand 53-0 (Bates 34, Bezuidenhout 14) Back from the concussion test/drinks – three singles to the sweepers. It won’t be long before Sophie Ecclestone is into the attack here and boundaries will be harder again to come by.

Drinks are called early. This is because Bell, who has been banging a number of balls in short from both ends, has got one into Bezuidenhout’s helmet with the first delivery of the fresh over. She’s fine, but we’re into the concussion protocols, thus the break.

14th over: New Zealand 50-0 (Bates 33, Bezuidenhout 12) Sciver-Brunt hasn’t found any rhythm but there isn’t much pressure the other way so she’s able to work into it. A couple of wides help the hosts, which couldn’t been five if not for Amy Jones diving down the legside to take some pace off the ball. Good response from NSB with her best ball yet, beating Bezuidenhout. But she is able to cut a single to finish, which raises a 50-run stand off the top for the White Ferns. Time to get on with it now, though.

13th over: New Zealand 47-0 (Bates 33, Bezuidenhout 11) After six overs from Cross at the Adelaide Road End it’s back to Bell to follow her, who sent down three from the Vance Stand end with the new ball. She’s keen to keep testing them out with the short ball but there isn’t a lot going on with the pitch. Three singles – that’ll do for England.

12th over: New Zealand 44-0 (Bates 31, Bezuidenhout 10) Bezuidenhout boundary! Makes the most of a Sciver-Brunt short ball, freeing the arms as she’s keen to do. It’s the foundation for the biggest over of the innings with eight coming from it.

11th over: New Zealand 36-0 (Bates 28, Bezuidenhout 5) You don’t see many six-over spells off the top in modern one-day cricket but Knight sees a chance with Cross to suck the life out of the New Zealand innings and fair enough. TV is presenting it, alternatively, as a desperation from Knight to get wickets – I don’t know about that. Nevertheless, Bates does break the shackles with a boundary from the penultimate ball of the over, slicing over backward point for four – it only just made it, but you don’t get any extra runs for hitting the cover off it. Interesting observation in relation to Bezuidenhout on telly saying she can catch up on her strike rate later and look, let’s hope she does. But that’s not the point, is it? Truth told, there’s a longer conversation about the competitive pressure in New Zealand’s domestic cricket relative to their rivals, but that’s probably better to be had outside of an ODI innings.

10th over: New Zealand 30-0 (Bates 24, Bezuidenhout 4) Sciver-Brunt with the final over of a power play that can be seen as solid if you like, in the absence of wickets, but is not in keeping with the modern game. It takes until the second half of the over before singles are exchanged – the last runs with the field up. Just three runs an over with the restrictions in place, putting so much pressure on those to come later.

9th over: New Zealand 28-0 (Bates 23, Bezuidenhout 3) Cross to Bezuidenhout – a chance to continue to turn the screws, beginning with another ball that moves away to beat the bat. She’s too good for her. That’s shown again at the end of the over, one without any runs, trying to heave her across the line and missing again. Maiden. Cross deserves better than 5-2-10-0. Bezuidenhout meanwhile has 3 from 24. Not ideal.

8th over: New Zealand 28-0 (Bates 23, Bezuidenhout 3) Sciver-Brunt is into the attack for the first time, replacing Bell. Bates works out off the back foot into the gap for a couple. An overcorrection follows, on the pads, and she’s waiting for it with a gentle clip behind the square leg ump for her fourth boundary – good batting from the veteran. It’s noted on TV that it was NSB who let Bates off in the second over as well, put down at midwicket. Four dots to finish; two overs left in the power play.

7th over: New Zealand 22-0 (Bates 17, Bezuidenhout 3) Cross again from the Adelaide Road End, which is normally the end you don’t want to be running up from at the Basin but there is reportedly no wind to speak of at Wellington today. Bezuidenhout is no match for Cross in another tidy over, the bat beaten a couple of times. But the real action is on telly when we see a replay from the Bell yorker in the previous over. Guess what? It was toe first not bad, and had England reviewed it would’ve been overturned. So, we’ve seen Bates dropped one-and-a-half times and get out of jail leg before too.

6th over: New Zealand 20-0 (Bates 17, Bezuidenhout 2) Bezuidenhout off the mark! It has taken 12 balls, getting a short ball to hook here from Bell and helping out to deep square leg for a single. That’ll feel good. Bates’ turn but she can’t beat Wyatt in the gully with her cut. A yorker follows, a good one too, but she keeps it out. Two further singles to finish the over, which might help build a bit of momentum for the hosts.

5th over: New Zealand 17-0 (Bates 16, Bezuidenhout 0) Bates down the ground again – another boundary. All bottom hand in the end, she was looking to cover drive before adjusting at the last moment – it does the trick. Oooh, great response from Cross, wobble-seaming it from a dangerous line and length away from the right-handed opener; ever so close to the outside edge. Nice again with the one that comes back the other way off the seam – she really is at the peak of her powers as a bowler right now.

4th over: New Zealand 13-0 (Bates 12, Bezuidenhout 0) Bell to Bates from the RA Vance Stand End – one of my favourite places in the world to watch from. Our radio commentary box for the recently completed New Zealand/Australia men’s Test was up in the roof of that stand – totally run down, but a gorgeous vantage point at the famous old ground. After three dots, Bates manufactures enough room to cut three through point. Bezuidenhout plays out the remainder of the set, untroubled. But she’s now faced ten dot balls, yet to get off the mark – has to find a way through here.

3rd over: New Zealand 10-0 (Bates 9, Bezuidenhout 0) Cross sorts Bezuidenhout out with a beauty to start the new over, very similar to the ball that Bates played and missed to begin the innings. Oh, and again. Super stuff. Whether it’s wobble seam or genuine outswing, she’s got it hooping early here. And now the one coming back – a big shout for lbw, but it is doing too much; no review. Maiden complete – all over her.


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2nd over: New Zealand 10-0 (Bates 9, Bezuidenhout 0) Bates dropped for real this time, with Sciver-Brunt unable to snaffle her at midwicket from Bell’s first ball! The tall seamer sprays one down leg later in the over before giving Bates the chance to drive to finish and she doesn’t miss out, timing it straight for four. Shot.


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1st over: New Zealand 5-0 (Bates 5, Bezuidenhout 0) Uppish from Bates second ball, driving for four but not without risk with mid-on and mid-off inside the circle to begin and Ecclestone not far away from dragging in a diving catch – a half chance, perhaps? Bezuidenhout defends right out the middle to finish – her first ball. Nice start from Cross, who has been taking the first over since Brunt/Shrubsole hung up the boots.

The players are on their way! The legend Suzie Bates is opening up, 36 years young. She has 13 tons, the better part of 6000 ODI runs and has done everything she can to keep this New Zealand team there and thereabouts. She’s opening with Bernadine Bezuidenhout, who, by contrast, averages 18 in 18 ODIs. They need Bates. Kate Cross is going to take the new ball, England’s best in this format over the last few years.

National anthems for an ODI? Really? Okay. Anthems. Here we go.

Let’s get into the mood for this with some New Zealand indie.

England team as named: Tammy Beaumont, Maia Bouchier, Heather Knight (c), Nat Sciver-Brunt, Alice Capsey, Danni Wyatt, Amy Jones (wk), Sophie Ecclestone, Charlie Dean, Kate Cross, Lauren Bell.

New Zealand: Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Melie Kerr (c), Georgia Plimmer, Maddy Green, Brook Halliday, Izzy Gaze (wk), Hannah Rowe, Jess Kerr, Lea Tahuhu, Fran Jonas.


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We have sound! A triumph. Sadly, there’s no way to find out what the skippers said at the toss but the graphic on the screen confirmed that Melie Kerr is leading New Zealand in an ODI for the first time today in the absence of injured Sophie Devine.

Wellington looks just as I left it when there for a Test a few weeks ago. Currently 13 degrees, scheduled to reach the lofty heights of 17. No rain forecast. Cloudy, as per.

Heather Knight has won the toss and England are bowling. I wish I could tell you more but there has been no sound on the broadcast since it began five minutes ago. Fun!

Welcome to the 1st ODI between New Zealand’s Women and England

Adam Collins

One series ends; another begins – modern cricket is no sport for finish lines. After Heather Knight’s side easily won the T20s 4-1 – should’ve been a clean sweep, they botched the chase in the loss – it’s back to the 50-over fare at an interesting time in the cycle, at roughly the halfway mark of the four-year cycle.

I mention that off the top as this is how national teams set up in ODI cricket these days – ultimately, it is all about having the right players prepared to the right levels by the time the quadrennial festival rolls around, 18 months from now in India.

Dealing first with England, they have won seven of their 11 ODIs since the last World Cup in early 2022, the highlight a 2-1 home victory against the Australians last summer. Somewhat depleted during the first leg of the tour due to commitments in India at the Women’s Premier League, they’re back to (more or less) full strength here. On paper, they’re the far stronger team. They will, however, be without legspinner Sarah Glenn who was concussed while fielding in the final T20 win.

As for the hosts, who have been dreadful at global tournaments over the last decade, but in pretty good nick in their home ODIs during this ICC Championship Cycle – i.e. since the last World Cup, where they failed to make the semis at home. It’s unclear whether their superstar captain Sophie Devine has recovered from her quad strain – we’ll find out at the toss shortly. Typically, to seriously push England, they need her firing.

I’ll leave it there for the moment – more thoughts after the toss with the first ball due at 11pm BST. Drop me a line any time.

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