Tuesday, 24 February 2015

England wrap up T20 series win

England pulled off what was actually a very comfortable win in the first T20 played at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, the third game in the T20 series. They won by 5 wickets with eight balls to spare, but they could, and would, have won by seven wickets with more like 20 balls to spare had it not been for the unfortunate late demise of Nat Sciver (16) - run out at the bowler's end as Bermingham deflected a Lydia Greenway drive onto the stumps, and then Greenway herself for 25, bowled going back to a full ball from Georgia Guy.

Greenway and Sciver had taken England to within five runs of victory before they fell and it was left to Katherine Brunt (8*) to hammer the fourth ball of the penultimate over for a maximum over cow corner to finally finish off the Kiwis, after a series of dot balls.

Team-mates watch on as Greenway drives (C) Don Miles
But England's win was actually really based around their tight bowling, some poor shots from the Kiwis and some decent work in the field. Having won the toss Edwards elected to field first on a track that looked a decent one to bat on. Her decision may have been influenced by the team she had to play with. Lauren Winfield was out with a quad injury (she spent the day hobbling around on crutches so it doesn't look too hopeful for the last two ODIs); Anya Shrubsole was sick in bed and Rebecca Grundy is still having problems (although it is hoped that she will be fit for the two ODIs). Kate Cross surprisingly missed out leaving England somewhat short on bowlers - Sciver is not bowling at the moment (she is apparently remodelling her action) and Edwards seems to have little or no confidence in Danni Wyatt's off spin. That left the England skipper with three off-spinners (Knight, Hazell and Marsh), Brunt and Gunn, and when Gunn's first over went for 13 England looked to be in a spot of bowling bother.

Fortunately Knight had already accounted for Bates (7) and McGlashan (6) caught by Greenway at cow corner and Jones at mid-off, and Hazell had snapped up the dangerous Priest again caught at cow corner by Greenway (her 64th T20 wicket for England taking her to the top of the English T20 pile of bowlers), to leave the White Ferns at 30/3 in the 8th over. Broadmore then clipped Marsh to midwicket (Knight) to make it 53/4. Only Sophie Devine seemed in any sort of nick for the White Ferns as she took a liking to Gunn, but she found no support at the other end. Perkins was caught behind off Brunt; Peterson (dropped first ball by Wyatt off Brunt) was lbw to Hazell (2/15) and Bermingham drove Marsh (2/24) straight to Wyatt at extra cover. New Zealand were 92/7 with just over two overs left to bat. Devine was still there though until Gunn's day got better thanks to a diving catch at mid-off by Amy Jones. Devine had scored 37 off 30 balls and looked in a class above the rest of the Kiwis. Gunn then picked up Tahuhu caught by Knight at long-off to finish with 2/28. It was just left for Brunt to terrify young Georgia Guy into missing four out of five balls she faced in the final over, and New Zealand had finished on a poor return of 97/9.

Without Winfield Heather Knight accompanied skipper for the 200th time, Charlotte Edwards, to the crease and looked in positive mood, although she looked to have been run out in the first over trying to come back for a second to square leg. The Kiwis were clearly disappointed by the decision of umpire Katey Cross, who has been hard to convince in this series. Edwards played on to Tahuhu in the 4th over for 4, who then picked up Knight (26) rather fortunately, as she clipped her nicely off her legs only to see the ball career down to Peterson at deep fine leg. When Taylor bunted Tahuhu (3/28) again to Bates at mid-off for another frustrating 20 off 15 balls, England were 55/3 with their middle order once again exposed. But Greenway has looked more confident since her recall and Nat Sciver always seems to have time to play her shots. The 38 they added for the fourth wicket may not sound like much, but in the context of this game it was gold. They deserved to be there at the end, but it wasn't to be.

Heather Knight was made player of the match and one hopes that Paul Downton was grateful to see an England team win in some style.

Full scorecard available here.



  1. Thanks for the update Martin, it's good to get an inside track on some of the details like the injuries which we would struggle to hear about otherwise.

    I have to say from watching the live scores, that fourth over from Gunn was handy - it seemed to be a real turning point in the game. With Devine still there blazing away they could have got quite a few more, maybe 120-130.

    The team appear to be playing more confidently now - it was a nicely put together chase, barring a couple of late abberations, and for the last 2 ODIs, we seem to be in a much better place as a team.

    I think Greenway's little return to form is very welcome, and it's actually quite important to keep her in the side if at all possible, because we need more left-handers to keep the opposition bowlers on their toes. At least we now have this iT20 series to take back, whatever happens.

  2. Delighted for Lottie that the match was a win.
    Still like to see England score a 140+ score on a regular basis when batting first (batting 2nd one's scope is sometimes limited, like today, by what one is chasing). If one plots all England's 1st innings T20 scores on a chart and plonk a linear regression line on it, it slopes down so we are scoring fewer runs than we used to.
    Still, given the day, given the injuries and illnesses, I think we can be very pleased with the performance.
    No pressure for the ODIs - just got to win both !