England Women v New Zealand W 3rd T20I at Taunton on 9th September (night)
Commentators applauded Sophia Dunkley who struck the winning ‘four’ from the penultimate match ball. Needing 16 from the last 12 balls, England had lost Heather Knight and Maia Bouchier three balls apart. Snatching victory for England with ‘sighs of relief,’ Sophia Dunkley’s reputation as a seasoned match-winner was said by Charles Dagnall to have grown. Her vital innings also snatched the series for England 2-1
Top-scorer Heather Knight (42 runs from 36 balls) was awarded ‘Vitality POTM.’ Knight told former NZ player-turned-commentator Adam Collins that England ‘weren’t perfect’ but it was a ‘brilliant game of cricket.’ ‘Ferns’ skipper Sophie Devine was ‘extremely proud’ for her ‘White Ferns’ as she collected ‘Vitality Player of the Series.’ Devine added that: ‘a lot went right.’ Natalie Sciver was ‘Women’s Vitality IT20 Player of the Summer’ having skippered England twice: winning by 46 runs at Chemlsford. NZ ‘White Ferns’ fought back to level the series 1-1 at Hove: with a 4-wicket win and all to play for at Taunton with an eventful ‘cliff-hanger ending’ taking the match down to the penultimate ball.
As seen on SKY Sports TV (commentators from Sky Sports included Adam Brown, Charles Dagnall, Lydia Greenway, Adam Collins with guest Issy Wong) also cricket social media (Valkerie Baynes for ESPN-cric-info); the ‘Ferns’ played an unchanged team.
Making her 200th International appearance, England were skippered by Heather Knight with Katherine Brunt returning in place of Freya Davies.
*‘Ferns’ skipper Sophie Devine told Valkerie Baynes between matches, that it was ‘nice to be back wearing the NZ fern,’ having stepped away from the sport last March ‘to manage her mental health and recover from fatigue.’ NZ commentator Adam Collins continued discussing the ‘putting people first’ theme for SKY Sports. Sophie Devine added that it was her ‘dream job’ but there was no ‘shut-off’ from the ‘treadmill of international cricket’ with players always talking about cricket.
*England were said to have bowled straight, with constant towelling of the ball needed to remove moisture
*Batting first, ’Ferns’ were cautious losing no wickets but facing 20 non-scoring ‘dot’ balls during their power-play (37/0 vs 40/1.)
*Suzie Bates faced the ‘lions share’ of deliveries scoring 27 runs from 26 balls. ‘Ferns’ chalked up 50 by 8.2 overs, progressing to 61/1 by mid-way.
*The match was suspended at 66/1 (10.5 ov.) because of bad light until power was restored to the floodlight towers.
*’Spin twins’ Sarah Glenn and Sophie Ecclestone took two wickets within 10 balls
*Firstly Amy Satterthwaite was caught by Katherine Brunt from Glenn; secondly Sophie Devine was clean bowled by Ecclestone’s faster ball.
*‘Ferns’ were 98/3 after 100 balls (16.4ov.) 50 runs came from last 5 overs
*Finishing 13 not out, Katey Martin’s T20I run tally stands (at 987) just 13 short of her 1000 runs.
*England put on runs with two key partnerships. Firstly, Amy Jones and Heather Knight added 55 runs; Secondly Heather Knight and Sophia Dunkley added 40 runs to place England within sight of victory.
*Commentators agreed that despite losing Tammy Beaumont (3); and tight bowling by Sophie Devine, England ‘got off to a good start:’ making 40/1 (vs 37/0) from 6 ov. power-play.
*The following over saw two dismissals from Leigh Kasperek’s ‘off-spin’ as Natalie Sciver (2) was caught by Hayley Jensen. Opener Danni Wyatt (35) went next ball, caught by Thamsyn Newton.
*Scores were level-pegging at mid-way (10ov.) 68/3 (vs 61.1)
*Beyond the 100-ball benchmark (124/4 vs 98/3 at 16.4ov.) At that point England needed to score at one-run-per-ball 21 needed from the last 20 balls.
*Needing 16 from the last 12 balls, England lost Heather Knight (42) caught by Suzie Bates off fellow skipper Sophie Devine.
*Knight and Maia Bouchier were out within three balls of each other. Separately Devine needs two more wickets to chalk-up 100 wickets in T20I
*Commentators commended Sophia Dunkley for her vital innings.
*Needing 6 to win, Dunkley struck ‘two’ immediately followed by the winning ‘four.’ Charles Dagnall reported ‘sighs of relief all round’ from the home crowd.
Result: England Women 145/6 beat New Zealand Women 144/4 beat by 4 wickets (with 1 ball remaining) & England Women win the Vitality T20I series 2-1
New Zealand W 144/4 (20 ov, 7.31 runs-per-over); Sophie Devine 35(33), Suzie Bates 34(30), Brooke Halliday 25*(16), Maddy Green 16(14), Katey Martin 13*(6), Amy Satterthwaite 13(21); England bowling: Sarah Glenn 1/20, Natalie Sciver 1/29, Sophie Ecclestone 1/30, Tash Farrant 1/34, Fow: 1-45, 2-84, 3-90, 4-108.
England W 145/6 (19.5/20 ov, 7.19 rpo); Heather Knight 42(36), Dani Wyatt 35(23), Amy Jones 32(19), Sophia Dunkley 22*(21); NZ bowling: Leigh Kasperek 3/25, Jess Kerr 1/27, Amy Satterthwaite 1/28, Sophie Devine 1/29; Fow: 1-16, 2-42, 3-42, 4-97, 5-137, 6-138.
Next match: ODI Five-Match Series starting on 16 September at Bristol; see https://www.icc-cricket.com/match/31735#teams