After winning the ODI series 2-1, the visiting England team extended its purple patch as it beat New Zealand in the first T20I by seven wickets on Wednesday.
The two teams locked horns against each other in the first of three T20Is at Wellington. Winning the toss and electing to bowl first, England bundled out New Zealand for a paltry 96 in 19.4 overs. Apart from wicket-keeper bat Katey Martin (36), none of the other batters looked in shape. Opening bat Hayley Jensen (13) and Amelia Kerr (14) started well but failed to capitalize. On the other hand, the English bowlers had a wonderful day at the office. Pace duo of Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver as well as the spin twins Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn scalped two wickets apiece. Out of the four bowlers, Glenn was the most economical as she gave away just 11 runs in four overs.
In reply, Heather Knight and co. chased down the target with ease as they finished the game in 16 overs, with seven wickets to spare. The opening pair of Tammy Beaumont and Danielle Wyatt (33) provided a solid start to the chase as they stitched a 59 run partnership in 8.3 overs. After the fall of Wyatt, Nat Sciver (26 not out) joined Beaumont (25) and was there till the end to see her side home. Skipper Knight was unfortunately run out without troubling the scorers. In the end, wicket-keeper bat Amy Ellen Jones (12 not out) and Sciver ensured that there were no hiccups in the modest run chase. Leigh Kasperek was the pick of the bowlers for White Ferns as she picked up 2-24 in her four overs.
For her economical and productive bowling performance, England’s Sarah Glenn won the Player of the Match award.
The second T20I will be played on Sunday at the same venue. It will be a do-or-die game for the hosts as they trail by 0-1 in the three-match T20I series.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 96 all out in 19.4 overs (K Martin 36, A Kerr 14; S Glenn 2-11, K Brunt 2-13) lost to England 99-3 in 16 overs (D Wyatt 33, N Sciver 26 not out; L Kasperek 2-24) by 7 wickets