Oh Danni. This time it’s a bad ball – a long hop, pulled to deep square for another easy catch, and suddenly New Zealand are on top.
A lofted on-drive, a simple catch at deep midwicket.
6th over: England 40-1 (Wyatt 34, Sciver 2) Devine trusts Kerr to bowl a third over and surely regrets it as Wyatt goes 4, 4, 4 – a whip to midwicket, an inside-out cover drive, and a dab to third man. Kerr recovers with a couple of dots to Sciver, but the powerplay ends with England just ahead on points – thanks to one woman.
5th over: England 27-1 (Wyatt 21, Sciver 2) A better over from Devine, bustling in, finding a little away-swing, mixing up the field and beating Wyatt outside off. Only two runs off the over, and even with Wyatt hitting the ball well, England are slipping behind the rate. They need 118 off 90 balls.
4th over: England 25-1 (Wyatt 20, Sciver 1) Kerr deceives Wyatt too, but gets no reward as a thick inside edge dribbles away for four. Wyatt reasserts herself as Kerr drops short, swivelling to pull and landing the ball just inside the Toblerone. She has 20 off only 12 balls, and England need 120 off 16 overs.
Tammy Beaumont thinks she’ll have a bit of that too – and clomps a catch to midwicket! It was a strange shot, looping like a slower ball. Beaumont faced 11 deliveries and just didn’t get going.
3rd over: England 16-0 (Wyatt 12, Beaumont 3) Kasperek is off as Devine brings herself on. England are desperately seeking boundaries and Danni Wyatt finds one with a pull. And then she gives Devine the charge and hits a six – the first of the evening, creamed over long-off. Game on!
2nd over: England 5-0 (Wyatt 2, Beaumont 2) From the other end it’s Jess Kerr with her nagging inswing, and still England can’t free their arms. They need 140 off 108 balls.
And there was a dropped catch in that over! Unnoticed at the time – an under-edge from Tammy Beaumont, which Katey Martin couldn’t hang onto.
1st over: England 2-0 (Wyatt 1, Beaumont 1) It’s going to be Leigh Kasperek, bowling the first off-breaks of the evening. She does well, cramping the openers for room and restricting them to a single each, driven down the ground. England need another 143 off 19 overs.
20th over: New Zealand 144-4 (Halliday 25, Martin 13) It’s Brunt to bowl the last over, and the scintillating Jones, still standing up, almost gets a stumping off a bouncer. It’s called a wide, not that that would have stopped her. Martin finds that square squirt of hers again, beating the cover sweeper. Brunt, not liking that at all, switches her line to leg stump. The last ball is clubbed for two past extra-cover by Halliday, running hard and beating the throw from Danni Wyatt. Thanks to a sparkling fifth-wicket partnership of 36 off 15 balls, NZ have grabbed respectability from the jaws of disappointment. Time for a sandwich.
19th over: New Zealand 132-4 (Halliday 20, Martin 9) It’s Ecclestone to bowl her last over. Fired up by Martin, Halliday gives her the charge first ball and cover-drives for four. then, for the first time, Martin fails to pierce the ring, but she picks up a single as the throw is sharp but wayward. And then Halliday goes dancing again and gets another four, squirted over point. And another! Halliday is transformed, and so are Ecclestone’s figures (one for 30 from four overs). This partnership is 24 off eight balls.
18th over: New Zealand 116-4 (Halliday 5, Martin 8) NZ need fours, fast, and Katie Martin knows it. She makes room to square-drive her first ball past cover point, then spots the slower ball and cuts it for four more. Eight off two! That’s more like it.
A nick to the keeper: you’ve seen it a thousand times – but not like this, as the ball is a bouncer, dug in at full tilt by Sciver, and Jones is standing up. What a great catch. And it’s her 50th in T20 internationals.
17th over: New Zealand 105-3 (Green 15, Halliday 3) Still no six, but we do get a classy four as Maddy Green drives Farrant over extra-cover. And instantly there’s another one, flicked to fine leg. That’s 11 off the over and Green has some momentum with 15 off 12.
16th over: New Zealand 94-3 (Green 6, Halliday 1) Things are going so well for England that Knight awards Glenn a two-over spell. She too goes for four off the over, to finish with one for 20. Between them she and Ecclestone have gone for only 34 off seven overs – and just one boundary each. Come on you Kiwis, give us a six.
15th over: New Zealand 90-3 (Green 3, Halliday 0) So that’s another good over of spin – a wicket and four runs this time. It was Ecclestone’s arm ball, which nearly defeated Bates early on, and eventually burst through Devine’s gate.
The big one! Devine gets in a tangle trying to work Ecclestone away to leg, and she’s gone for 35 off 33. England are now officially on top.
14th over: New Zealand 86-2 (Devine 33, Green 1) Well bowled Sarah Glenn, whose over goes for only three runs as well as bringing the wicket. Satterthwaite never got going, using up 21 balls for her 13. So the rate dips back to six an over, and now it’s all about Devine, who has still faced only 30 balls.
Knight’s umpteenth bowling change bears fruit as Satterthwaite holes out to long-on, where Brunt takes a sharp catch.
13th over: New Zealand 83-1 (Devine 31, Satterthwaite 13) Farrant is off again and Sciver is back. The singles are flowing but the only boundary come sin the form of byes, as an expert slower ball beats Satterthwaite – outside leg stump, as she backs away – and befuddles Amy Jones, who stays rooted on off stump. Nine off the over.
12th over: New Zealand 74-1 (Devine 28, Satterthwaite 11) Here’s Brunt again, and for once she’s bearing gifts – a loopy slower ball, reaching Devine on the full and asking to be smacked for four. A better slower ball beats Satterthwaite, and Jones too, and something about Brunt’s face suggests there might have been a nick.
11th over: New Zealand 67-1 (Devine 212, Satterthwaite 10) After a few minutes, the lights deign to come back on. Six off Farrant’s over, which is what NZ have been chugging along at for some time. I predict an acceleration.
Not quite the end of the 11th over: New Zealand 66-1 (Devine 21, Satterthwaite 10) Back comes Tash Farrant for her third over, and her third spell. The batters work her around for five balls, and then THE LIGHTS GO OUT. It’s like 1973 all over again.
10th over: New Zealand 61-1 (Devine 20, Satterthwaite 6) New Zealand need a big over and their captain provides it. She sweeps Glenn for four, making a sound like a rifle in a war film, and then gets lucky with a Harrow drive for two. She still hasn’t had much of the strike, though: only 18 balls so far, and we’ve had half the innings.
9th over: New Zealand 51-1 (Devine 12, Satterthwaite 4) Sciver returns, with her medium-pace allsorts, and this is a much better over from her – four dots and two singles. England have comprehensively won the last 14 balls.
8th over: New Zealand 49-1 (Devine 11, Satterthwaite 3) After seven overs, it’s time for Knight to produce her fifth bowler. On comes Sarah Glenn with her leg-breaks. She’s bang on her length and line and concedes just three singles. A camera by the Toblerone shows us a gorgeous pale-blue September sky. There’s some rain around, but so far it’s had the decency to keep its distance.
7th over: New Zealand 46-1 (Devine 10, Satterthwaite 1) Farrant goes back over the wicket for the left-handed Amy Satterthwaite, who eases her first ball into the covers for a single. The wicket ball was delivered, by the way, at full pace – Bates, who had been finding those legside hits so easy, played right across it.
Farrant gets hammered for four by Bates – so she goes round the wicket and bowls her! Great riposte.
6th over: New Zealand 37-0 (Bates 27, Devine 9) The one thing Bates hasn’t done well is sharing the strike – in the first five overs, Sophie Devine faced only six balls. Facing Ecclestone, Devinenow gets four balls in a row, and takes a two and a single. And the powerplay ends with NZ on top but not running riot as they threatened to, thanks to the accuracy of Brunt and Ecclestone.
5th over: New Zealand 33-0 (Bates 26, Devine 6) Fuming at losing her record, Knight makes yet another bowling change. As Sciver replaced Brunt, so Brunt now replaces Sciver. She tries a bouncer, but Bates hooks it for four.
4th over: New Zealand 28-0 (Bates 22, Devine 5) Another bowling change as Farrant gives way to the slower left-arm of Sophie Ecclestone. The first ball is a long hop and Bates has no mercy, pulling it so hard that the woman at mid-on can’t move five yeards to her right before it’s flashed past her. Ecclestone then shows her class, cramping Bates for room, reeling off the dots and very nearly bowling her off the inside edge with the arm ball. But Bates gets two for that and she has now beaten the record for most runs at one venue in women’s T20 – nicking it from Heather Knight, who is unstoppable at Canberra.
3rd over: New Zealand 22-0 (Bates 16, Devine 5) Heather Knight makes a bowling change at the earliest opportunity, replacing Brunt with Nat Sciver – Amy Jones standing up again. Devine gets off the mark with a whip for four past fine leg. Then she misses the same shot and the one with the whip is Jones, whipping off the bails. There’s a review, but it’s just a formality. Bates on-drives for four, powerfully, and that’s 11 off the over.
2nd over: New Zealand 11-0 (Bates 11, Devine 0) At the other end it’s Tash Farrant, with her left-arm medium, and Amy Jones standing up. Bates hits the first four of the evening with an off-drive, and then she’s dropped by Farrant herself – she did well to get down to a low chance but couldn’t hold on it. To rub it in, Bates lofts her for another four.
1st over: New Zealand 3-0 (Bates 3, Devine 0) It’s Brunt to Bates, and both are switched on. The first two balls are on off stump and Bates middles them, on the front foot and then the back, without piercing the ring. She gets it right off the fourth ball, forcing for three, but Brunt starts with two dots against Devine too, to complete a typically stingy first over. On commentary,. Adam Collins reminds us that last time these two teams played at Taunton on the same day, they both broke records (in different games).
Nooooo! Mady Villiers has been left out, presumably for failing to take four catches and two run-outs on Saturday. The good news is that Katherine Brunt returns, to add depth to the batting as well as fury to the bowling. The New Zealanders aren’t messing around: they retain all of their winning team.
England 1 Tammy Beaumont, 2 Danni Wyatt, 3 Heather Knight (capt), 4 Nat Sciver, 5 Amy Jones (wkt), 6 Sophia Dunkley, 7 Katherine Brunt, 8 Maia Bouchier, 9 Sophie Ecclestone, 10 Sarah Glenn, 11 Tash Farrant.
New Zealand 1 Suzie Bates, 2 Sophie Devine (capt), 3 Amy Satterthwaite, 4 Maddy Green, 5 Brooke Halliday, 6 Katey Martin (wkt), 7 Hayley Jensen, 8 Thamsyn Newton, 9 Hannah Rowe, 10 Jess Kerr, 11 Leigh Kasperek.
Heather Knight is back, back, back. Not only has she won the toss and opted to have a bowl – she’s also been presented with a special cap to mark her 200th England appearance. The speech was made by Lydia Greenaway, who, according to her Sky colleague Charlie Dagnall, had her notes written on her hand.
Evening everyone and welcome to the third and final T20 between England and New Zealand. Douglas Adams said the answer to life, the universe and everything was 42. If he’d been a sportswriter, he might have been tempted to scrap that and say the answer was 1-1. All the best cricket series, like all the best football matches, go by way of 1-1: the team that’s gone behind comes bouncing back. That’s what New Zealand did at Hove on Saturday, propelled by Sophie Devine, who showed that in T20 you can play a captain’s innings and endanger the windows at the same time. She starred with the bat, the ball and her comments afterwards, in which she said that “we need to normalise the conversation around [athletes and] mental health”.
The other star of that game was Mady Villiers, with her phenomenal fielding. Can she please give the England men’s team some tips? At Hove she took three catches and a run-out and yet ended up empty-handed. Tonight, at Taunton, she has the chance to get her hands on a trophy – and so does everyone else, thanks to the magic of 1-1.
Play begins at 6.30pm local time, so I’ll be back around 6.05 with the toss and the teams.
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