Sports

New Zealand level T20 series after captain’s innings from Sophie Devine


Sophie Divine - Steve Bardens/GETTY

Sophie Divine – Steve Bardens/GETTY

England will face a decisive third Twenty20 International against New Zealand on Thursday after a surprise defeat last night levelled the series.

In a stark contrast to their rusty performance in the opener at Chelmsford, New Zealand turned up here looking like a new team equipped with an almost impenetrable field, restricting England to a snail’s pace. The hosts posted a sub-par 127 for seven.

The loss extended England’s poor run of results at Hove, and they have now lost six out of seven matches there.
While four England players reached double figures, none were able to accelerate, as New Zealand’s bowling attack cleverly chipped away and took wickets regularly. England were punished in the powerplay in particular, at one point slumping to 25 for three.

Tammy Beaumont was unable to replicate her outstanding 97 off 65 balls from the first match as Jess Kerr sought revenge with a fantastic side-spinning leg-cutter which cut back through Beaumont as she swung towards the on side.

Nat Sciver and Amy Jones were dispatched cheaply in consecutive balls by Sophie Devine, who was playing her 100th T20 international. Channelling their experiences from the Hundred, Southern Brave finalists Danni Wyatt, Sophia Dunkley and Maia Bouchier made much-needed contributions. Bouchier’s was an impressive debut as she scored 25 from 24 deliveries – the fourth-highest maiden innings in T20 internationals. But New Zealand showed greater intent and intensity to keep the score in check.

Despite the crushing loss at Chelmsford only three days earlier, Devine stuck with the same plan. No changes, which surprised many. This decision proved to be right as New Zealand executed it remarkably. The White Ferns turned the tables to demonstrate they are now a force to be reckoned with.

Devine reminded us why she is one of the greatest in the game and leading all-rounder for New Zealand. Her fearlessness to smack the ball and wealth of experience was felt painfully by the England bowling and fielding attack, who bore the brunt of four sixes in her entertaining half-century off 40 balls. In the most casual manner, Devine dismissed Freya Davies’s full toss for four over mid-off to bring up her 50.

Devine could not see New Zealand home, however, as Mady Villiers further impressed in the field to produce a fantastic diving catch at long on, sending the captain back to the dugout. Villiers was invaluable in the field, also dismissing Maddy Green with a caught and bowled in the 16th over to maintain the pressure.

Her performance was a definite positive for England to take from this match. She cemented herself as one of the best fielders in the world when she took another special catch to dismiss Brooke Halliday.

With England trying to throw everything at New Zealand as they needed 15 runs from four overs, the match escaped their grasp as Devine’s innings and partnership with Green built the foundations for the following batters to cash in. The winning runs came with 10 balls to spare.

England will need to improve greatly for the decider. The sides will meet again on Thursday in Bristol, followed by five one-day internationals.

Source link: https://sports.yahoo.com/zealand-level-t20-series-captain-083219020.html?src=rss
Back to top button