Skipper Suzie Bates’s 65 in vain, as England go 1-0 up in a five-match T20I series

A couple of days after the Royal Challengers Bangalore led by skipper Smriti Mandhana, clinched a historic maiden trophy in franchise cricket, in the 2nd edition of the Women’s Premier League. The action continues as the two top-class sides battle it out against each other in a white-ball series. The England Women’s team led by skipper Heather Knight is touring New Zealand for a limited-overs series that includes a five-match T20I series followed by a three-match ODI series. The series gets underway on 19th March 2024 with the first T20I at the University Oval, Dunedin. The series will conclude on 7th April 2024 at Seddon Park, Hamilton.

Skipper Suzie Bates’s 65 in vain, as England go 1-0 up in a five-match T20I series
Skipper Suzie Bates’s 65 in vain, as England go 1-0 up in a five-match T20I series

The New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates won the toss and opted to field first. After being inserted to bat, the England openers got off to a steady start, scoring over five runs an over before Fran Jonas picked up the wicket of Tammy Beaumont to provide the first breakthrough for New Zealand in the powerplay. Maia Bouchier joined opening batter Sophia Dunkley at the crease and the duo stitched a 34-run partnership for the 2nd wicket before Lea Tahuhu picked up the wicket of Sophia Dunkley to provide the 2nd breakthrough for her side.

Skipper Heather Knight joined Maia Bouchier at the crease and the duo stitched a massive 91-run partnership for the 3rd wicket to put the visitors, England in a strong position. However, Jess Kerr provided the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing the opposition skipper Heather Knight to provide the 3rd breakthrough for New Zealand. England eventually ended up with a total of 160/4 in their quota of overs.

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Skipper Heather Knight (63 off 39 balls), Maia Bouchier (43 off 40 balls), and Sophia Dunkley (32 off 24 balls) were the top performers with the bat for England. Jess Kerr (4-0-26-1), Fran Jonas (4-0-30-1), and Lea Tahuhu (4-0-36-1) were the top performers with the ball for New Zealand. Chasing a target of 161, the home side, New Zealand got off to a poor start, losing the wicket of the wicket-keeper batter Isabella Gaze for a duck in the first over of the run chase. Lauren Bell provided the first breakthrough for England.

Georgia Plimmer joined skipper Suzie Bates at the crease and the duo stitched a crucial 59-run partnership for the 2nd wicket before the leg-spinner Sarah Glenn picked up the wicket of Georgia Plimmer to provide the 2nd breakthrough for her side. Maddy Green joined skipper Suzie Bates at the crease and the duo failed to stitch a substantial partnership as they lost the wicket of Maddy Green courtesy of a run-out to provide the 3rd breakthrough for England.

Brooke Halliday joined skipper Suzie Bates at the crease and the duo stitched another crucial 32-run partnership for the 4th wicket before Lauren Bell came back and picked up the big wicket of the opposition skipper Suzie Bates to provide the 4th breakthrough for her side. The home side, New Zealand, was eventually restricted to a total of 133/5 in their quota of overs. Skipper Suzie Bates (65 off 51 balls), Brooke Halliday (27 off 23 balls), and Georgia Plimmer (21 off 24 balls) were the top performers with the bat for New Zealand. Lauren Bell (4-0-29-2), Sarah Glenn (4-0-17-1), and Charlie Dean (4-0-21-0) were the top performers with the ball for England.

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England skipper Heather Knight was awarded the Player of the Match for her brilliant performance (63 off 39 balls) with the bat, playing a crucial role in helping England, go 1-0 up in a five-match T20I series. The 2nd T20I will be played at the Saxton Oval, Nelson. On 22nd March (Friday), 2024, from 5:30 am IST.

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