It was a solid comeback by New Zealand on Saturday as they defeated England in the second T20I at Hove by 4 wickets to level the three-match series 1-1. With everything to play for in the last and final match of the shortest format series, it will be interesting to see which team has the last laugh.
Winning the toss and electing to bowl first, the White Ferns restricted England to a modest 127-7 in 20 overs. After having scored 184 in the first T20I, England would have been disappointed with their dismal performance in the second game. Tammy Beaumont who had scored a blistering 97 perished on 13 as she was outdone by Jess Kerr. Her opening partner Danielle Wyatt top-scored with 35 but did not find able allies to take the team to a fighting total. Sophia Dunkley and Maia Bouchier contributed with 21 and 25 runs down the order, but in the end, the hosts failed to post a competitive score on board. New Zealand had a good day with the ball, with Leigh Kasperek, Sophie Devine, and Hannah Rowe accounting for a couple of wickets apiece.
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In reply, leading from the front, skipper Devine mustered 50 off 41 balls, including two boundaries and four sixes. Playing her 100th T20I, New Zealand captain registered her 15th half century and ensured that she was able to take her team to a winning position. Apart from the player of the match winner’s contribution, it was Mady Green, who chipped in with the bat scoring 21 off 19 balls, hitting three boundaries. The visitors achieved the target in 18.2 overs, winning the match by four wickets. Just like her previous game, English left-arm seamer Natasha Farrant was the pick of the bowlers as she scalped 2-32 in her 3.2 overs. Freya Davies, Sarah Glen, and Mady Villiers picked up one wicket each.
With the three-match T20I series leveled 1-1, the third and final game of the series is a must-win for both teams. The third T20I will be played on September 9 at Taunton.
Brief Scores: England 127-7 in 20 overs (D Wyatt 35; L Kasperek 2-20) lost to New Zealand 128-6 in 18.2 overs (S Devine 50; N Farrant 2-32) by 4 wickets
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.