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|
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.