Wednesday, 11 February 2015

New Zealand shock England in first ODI

New Zealand have won the first of the three matches in the ICC Women's Championship ODI series in convincing fashion.

They posted 240/8 in their 50 overs, but could, and probably should, have scored more. Skipper Suzie Bates (106) and Rachel Priest (52) put on a record opening partnership against England of 157 in just under 31 overs, as England struggled with the ball and in the field. Bates was dropped by Lydia Greenway on 48. It was a sharp chance, but Greenway would have backed herself to take it, and in fact she took a remarkably similar catch off Hazell to dismiss Bates 58 runs later.

That wicket sparked a collapse which threatened to undo all the openers' good work. Priest, in her 50th ODI for the White Ferns, had been caught by Sciver on the deep midwicket boundary off Knight, who also accounted for Satterthwaite for just 1. When Bates went New Zealand were 178/3, which soon became 182/6 as Devine, Broadmore and McGlashan all fell cheaply, two more to Knight and one to the debuting Grundy, who bowled well for her 1/35 return off 10 overs.

But Katie Perkins (27*) and Anna Petersen (12) steadied the ship that looked in danger of sinking. They took the score to 210 before Petersen slogged Brunt to Gunn at cow corner, and then Anya Shrubsole returned to pick up a consolation wicket as the White Ferns ended on a decent score of 240/8.

England needed not to panic in reply, but the needless run outs of Heather Knight (11) - her own fault  and Charlotte Edwards (26) - at the hands of Sarah Taylor, plus the loss of Lauren Winfield to a tentative prod outside off-stump, suggested confidence was low.

Heather Knight is run out         (c) Don Miles
England were 51/3 with 15 overs gone. Sarah Taylor (16 off 47 balls) and Lydia Greenway (27 off 52 balls) tried to rebuild, but it was slow progress and the run-rate was climbing steadily. Eventually the pressure told on Taylor as she skied one to mid-on, and then Greenway was bowled around her legs by leggie Erin Bermingham, who finished with 2/20 from her 10 over spell, Jenny Gunn being her second victim, bowled missing a flighted delivery.

Anya Shrubsole (29) and Dani Hazell (17) made the score look a little more respectable with some lusty hitting, but it was all in vain. England were bowled out in the 46th over for 173. It helps with the Net Run Rate calculation, but in truth England deserved to lose by more.

So New Zealand have some points on the ICC WC board, and England have two days to get their act together. Will they make changes? I have to say I think not. You got us into this mess so you get us out of it.

England will need to be a lot sharper with bat, ball and in the field. New Zealand thoroughly deserved to win this opener. They outplayed England in every department.

I have to say that I think bowling first was the wrong call. I said before the game that I would have batted, even after seeing the pitch. It was a decent pitch to bat on and runs on the board means pressure. We will wait and see what the winning captain does on Friday.

Full scorecard here -



  1. Probably get the usual platitudes about coming back stronger in the next match ! One warm up match against average opposition might have something to do with it. Even the Aussies have struggled out of the season in the past which suggests 3 warmups would be better.

    Shame that one or two players that owe England a big innings did not take the opportunity that presented itself.

  2. With such a long gap between series (because the ICC are not pushing tri-series) it is difficult to judge real form BUT there are quite a few players who are drinking in the Alastair Cook saloon. This might seem harsh but England are in danger of losing momentum this tour and the ODI Wordl Cup is key. Otherwise too many players out of form in an Ashes year and not challenging them with youth from the Development pathway. Particularly as county and international fixtures clash this season leaving even less time to find form.

    1. I agree it's looking tough for England these days. There seems to be various structural problems highlighted by the gap between international and county investment. I only hope that the fixtures clashing will force counties into more active and aggressive scouting/training to maximise their chances...

  3. Well done for calling a spade a spade and not sugar coating the obvious problems we face. For too long now, at least the last 12 months, have the outstanding form of Edwards Gunn and Taylor behind the stumps at least been able to mask other inconsistencies. When these 3 do not really turn up, like happened yesterday, we can be left badly exposed.

    It's hard to put into words how desperately disappointing a performance it was.

    I thought we had let NZ post a total that was, say, 20 runs too high at the end of their innings, although that 240 actually represented a decent comeback with the ball, after a stuttering first day in the field, especially early on, letting Bates get all those runs in that superb 106, which turned out to be a match winning performance.

    As much as I thought we could struggle with anything more than 220, this was a highly uncertain and suspect batting display, no doubt made worse by lack of solid match practice. None of the players really took responsibility and went on to post a solid 50. Shrubsole top-scored with 29, which is ironic, as I'm not sure her current bowling form merits a place in the side ahead of Kate Cross. What can we do? I might suggest trying Cross in the next game. Without Cross, and with Sciver strangely absent with the ball (could she be a bit injured?), England's attack looks a bit toothless and spin-heavy.

    Credit to New Zealand for a great start to their innings, fine knocks by Bates and Priest and a tidy bowling performance, in which no bowler leaked more than 42 runs and only 3 wides and 0 no-balls were bowled. Mimicking this miserly display is one of the incremental improvements England will need to make to get back in the series I think.

    Realistically, there still seems little chance of England not finishing at least fourth in the WWC17 qualification table, but results like this may mean we are likely to finish in third or fourth spot rather than first or second. I hope we can improve for the next game, but somehow I have the feeling this is going to be a long tour. Remember that NZ beat West Indies in their recent T20 series in the Caribbean, so the short game is clearly their strongest format. We will not find them easy opponents in T20.

    There is a small but noisy group of very disrespectful and misogynistic idiots to be found in some of the darker pits online who will no doubt take this opportunity to try and "make the case" to put the team back to making teas, rather than runs or wickets. England can avoid their uninformed prehistoric bluster all the easier, however, by coming back strongly in the next match.