Finally, the wait for England Women’s tour of New Zealand is over with the first ODI taking place today, 23rd February, at Hagley Oval, Christchurch. The day began with New Zealand captain Sophie Devine winning the toss and electing to bat first. New Zealand handed their maiden caps to two players – Brooke Halliday (cap 196) and Fran Jonas (cap 197).
The England bowlers were on the mark right from the start as they choked the NZ batters by not allowing their openers to score freely. Natalie Dodd was the first to be dismissed with just 8 runs to her name. While the middle order batters did get starts, no one stuck around to make a noteworthy score. Hayley Jensen got to a half-century (53) before she was bowled out by Sarah Glenn.
Coming in at number 7, debutant Brooke Halliday showed why the selectors had put their faith in her and made a brisk half-century before being run out in her quest to farm the strike. England used as many as seven bowlers with only Sophie Ecclestone bowling her full quota of overs. The England bowlers put their hand up as a collective unit with all of them getting at least one wicket to their name and bowling New Zealand out for 178 in 45.1 overs.
— WHITE FERNS (@WHITE_FERNS) February 23, 2021
In reply, the English batters had a strong start with openers Tammy Beaumont and Danielle Wyatt putting up a partnership of 42 before the latter was dismissed for 17 by Hayley Jensen. Beaumont made sure there were no further hiccups, steadied the ship with captain Heather Knight (67*), and went on to make 71 before she became the last person to be dismissed in the England innings.
Post Tammy’s dismissal, Natalie Sciver (21*) joined hands with the captain and together they ensured that England coasted towards the target with no difficulty. The pair put up an unbeaten partnership of 45 to guide England towards a victory. Tammy Beaumont was awarded the Player of the Match for her match-winning innings of 71 which kept the New Zealand bowlers at bay.
The White Ferns had an off day with both bat and ball and will be hoping to put it behind them in time for the 2nd ODI which will be played at University Oval, Dunedin on 26th February.
Brief Scores –
England Women (Tammy Beaumont 71, Heather Knight 67*; Hayley Jensen 1-18) beat New Zealand Women (Hayley Jensen 53, Brooke Halliday 50; Sophie Ecclestone 2-36) by 8 wickets.