Riding on Katey Martin’s fluent innings of 57(44) and Suzie Bates’ patient knock of 33 (38), New Zealand managed to post 134-9 in 20 overs, in Adelaide, during the practice match against England on Sunday.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first, the New Zealanders would have expected to put up a better show with the bat, however, they were tamed by the quality English bowling attack. Katherine Brunt (3-23) and Anya Shrubsole (2-19) wrecked havoc with the ball as the duo managed to restrict the White Ferns to a modest score. Brunt and Shrubsole were quick and bowled tight to not allow New Zealand to score freely. The opening pair of skipper Sophie Devine and wicket-keeper Rachel Priest got out cheaply inside three overs. Suzie Bates looked to consolidate but kept losing partners at regular intervals. Coming in at number six, Katey Martin played exceptionally well to take her team to over the 130-run mark.
Against a quality batting line-up like England, 135 was not a threatening target. Setting the tone of the chase right from the first ball, the opening pair of wicket-keeper Amy Jones and Danielle Wyatt stitched a solid partnership of 41 in 5.2 overs before Jones was sent packing by Tahuhu. Katherine Brunt was sent the up the order to do some power hitting however Brunt fell cheaply without troubling the scorers. It was now up to skipper Heather Knight to take the onus and steer her team home. Knight played the captain’s knock as she muscled an unbeaten 45 off 36 that was embellished with four boundaries and a six. Giving her company was Wyatt who struck a brilliant 42 (32) to provide a solid foundation for the chase. The English batters chased down the target quite comfortably as they won the practice game by six wickets with two overs to spare. The New Zealand bowlers had a relatively off day at the office, with only Lea Tahuhu bowling her heart out to scalp 2-20 in her three overs.
England will play its second practice match against Sri Lanka on February 18 while New Zealand will take on Thailand on February 19 in a warm-up tie.
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