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Talking Points

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England v New Zealand – Second ODI, Worcester

This wasn’t a win for England to be very happy about. The mainline batting was fragile, but the team’s overall strength once more proved too much for the White Ferns.

The Batting

Lisa Keightley’s decided to replace Katherine Brunt with Danni Wyatt at No 7. This would give Brunt a valuable break, but replace a lead bowler with a batter. How often do sides who say: ’We bat right down to No 9/10/11’ fail to produce?

When Tammy Beaumont creamed three fours in the second over, visions of a 300+ total swam before our eyes. Next ball, she was gone, leaving a straight one from Sophie Devine. Once again the promise of big runs from the top order failed to materialise.

It was indeed the extra batter who was largely responsible for the final total. Wyatt, knowing her future as an ODI player was at stake, played a courageous innings of 63. Before her, Lauren Winfield-Hill, another batter with much to prove, was the only one to put together a decent innings (39), but it took her till the 28th over.

With hindsight we can see that Wyatt’s tenth-wicket partnership of 51 with Tash Farrant (22) – she the other replacement, for Freya Davies – determined the fate of the game.

How ironic that this was Wyatt’s 200th appearance for England, marked with a special presentation pre-match. The crowd stood to acknowledge her fifty.

New Zealand’s bowling is now far more demanding than on their last tour here, but England’s batting line-up looks far less secure. The first target for the next match must surely be to bat out the full 50 overs.

Charlie Dean

In her second game Dean really proved herself in the toughest circumstances. A rain break in the White Ferns’ innings brought the DLS asking rate down to quite manageable proportions. She found herself having to keep the runs down and take wickets. Her final figures of 4-36 off 8 overs speak for themselves. She accounted for Brooke Halliday (29), the left-hander, who threatened to snatch the game away from the hosts, then cleaned up Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe and Leigh Kasperek.

This was the sort of performance that might convince the selectors that they have alighted on a real prospect in their hunt for a permanent off-spin replacement for Laura Marsh. It’s been a long search.

Tash Farrant

Keightley brought Farrant straight into the second ODI to make a direct comparison with Freya Davies. She didn’t take a wicket till the final over, but early on bowled tight lines to return 1-23 off 7 overs.

The batting line-up was so strong that she found herself demoted to No 11, but there she proved a thorn in New Zealand’s side, staying with Wyatt for eight overs to add those crucial late runs.

Heather Knight

Before the start of play she hinted with a smile that she might be needed to turn her arm, given the balance of the new team. She wasn’t, but that was the only area where she went missing. Another that is undervalued is her fielding in the crucial position of extra cover (often short extra). There she cuts off untold numbers of runs, to set a constant example to the team around her; and they respond in kind. It was her catch that brought final victory.

Errors in the field are few these days. When they do occur, they create quite a shock-wave.


It’s hard to imagine the Australians being concerned about England’s current showing. If Heather Knight’s team claim the Ashes down under undefeated, they may want to thank the White Ferns for making them work even harder to sort out their current shortcomings.

Anna Harris

Anna Harris had the honour of standing in her first international match at the age of 22. This makes her the youngest umpire to reach this level, a huge achievement. She has gained players’ confidence in the many games she has controlled this year. Though the authorities are anxious to promote more women into non-playing roles in cricket, it’s unlikely her record will be broken for quite a while.


England 197 (43.3 overs)
New Zealand 163 (39 overs)
England won by 13 runs (DLS method)



Knight (captain)

New Zealand

Devine (captain)