Watch Video: Suzie Bates defends 8 Runs in Final over to beat England by 3 Runs

England’s 5-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against hosts New Zealand started promisingly with two convincing wins. However, their bid for a hat-trick of victories was thwarted in a thrilling 3rd T20I, leaving the series open with two matches remaining.

Watch Video: Suzie Bates defends 8 Runs in Final over to beat England by 3 Runs. PC: Getty
Watch Video: Suzie Bates defends 8 Runs in Final over to beat England by 3 Runs. PC: Getty

Opting to bat first, New Zealand made a solid start with Bernadine Bezuidenhout finding the boundaries at regular intervals, while Suzie Bates anchored the innings. New Zealand closed out their powerplay with 40 runs on the board. Sarah Glenn struck in her first over, dismissing Bates for 14(20), while Dani Gibson removed Bezuidenhout for 34(27) after being reintroduced into the attack, as New Zealand lost a couple of wickets in no time.

Two new batters in the middle, Amelia Kerr and Sophie Devine, started off cautiously before the latter striking a couple of boundaries off Charlie Dean in an over freed her arms, while Kerr continued to anchor the innings. Devine switched gears and at a good pace, notching up her 20th T20I fifty with a maximum off 30 balls. Off the penultimate ball, Dani dismissed Devine on 60(37), drawing curtains to the 99-run partnership. With Maddy Green unbeaten on 1(1), alongside Kerr (44* off 35), New Zealand posted 155 on the board.

England’s bowling saw Glenn scalp a wicket for 8 runs in her sole over, while Gibson impressed with figures of 2/22 off 4 overs. Heather Knight and Charlie Dean were economical in their respective 3 and 4 overs but remained wicketless.

In reply, Sophia Dunkley was run out early in the chase; however, Tammy Beaumont and Maia Bouchier both got going aggressively, guiding England to post 60 runs at the end of 6 overs. New Zealand tightened the run flow post-powerplay as England were 89/1 at the halfway mark. Hannah Rowe was reintroduced into the attack and made an instant impact, dismissing Beaumont on 37(34), bringing an end to the 92-run partnership.

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Heather Knight joined Bouchier, who got to her maiden T20I fifty off 33 balls with a boundary and put foot on the accelerator. However, her dismissal for 71(47) by skipper Sophie marked the beginning of England’s collapse. England lost wickets in quick succession, with Kerr running out Knight for 10(12), bowling Amy Jones for 6(6), and Devine dismissing Bess Heath for 3(5).

Defending 8 off the final over, Bates conceded only 4 runs and off the first and last ball dismissed Hollie Armitage on 1(2) and Dean on 1(3) respectively. England’s collapse saw them lose 6 for 25 as New Zealand’s spirited 3-run win keeps them alive in the series. Devine and Bates led the bowling tally with two wickets each, followed by Kerr and Rowe with one each.

Watch Video: Suzie Bates defends 8 Runs in the Final over

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