England thrash New Zealand by 32 runs to complete a clean sweep in their three-match Twenty20 series.
|Third Twenty20, Sky Stadium, Wellington|
|England 128-9 (20 overs): Wilson 31 (23), Devine 3-30|
|New Zealand 96 (18 overs): Satterthwaite 25 (26), Villiers 3-10|
|England won by 32 runs; won series 3-0|
England, without captain Heather Knight through a minor hip injury, made 128-9 with Fran Wilson making an unbeaten 31.
Sophia Dunkley made 26, while captain Sophie Devine took 3-30 for the hosts.
New Zealand lost two wickets to Katherine Brunt in the first over, before spinners Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Mady Villiers took 6-36 to restrict the hosts to 96 all out.
England have now won their last 11 completed Twenty20 internationals, a run which started after a six-wicket defeat in their opening game of the World Cup in March 2020.
Their only blemish in the format during that time was the controversial washed-out semi-final against India that eliminated them from the tournament.
Fans were allowed at the game in Wellington after lockdown restrictions, that were implemented after the one-day series which England won 2-1, were lifted in the area.
It is still unknown when England will next be in action with their summer schedule still to be confirmed.
Squad players step up with bat
Wilson was playing her first game of the T20 series and played a crucial hand coming in at 70-4.
She only hit two fours in her 23-ball knock but superbly marshalled the final eight overs of the innings to guide England to a total that was defendable on a tricky spinning wicket.
Dunkley, who is only 22, has already played 15 T20 internationals and was recently tipped by team-mate Anya Shrubsole as having a bright future.
She had only previously batted in six of her appearances, and never higher than six in the order, so to be promoted to four was a real show of faith by England.
She showed maturity and composure with England struggling at 24-2 and 34-3 to rotate the strike and hit one six as she made her second highest international score.
One concern for England will be the form of opener Danni Wyatt, who only scored 63 runs in the six games across the two series.
England put New Zealand in a spin
Throughout both the one-day and T20 series, New Zealand have found themselves losing two early wickets – the opening pair never lasted longer than 9.1 overs in the ODI series and past the end of the fifth in the T20 series.
Brunt trapped Devine and Hayley Jensen lbw in the first over, before Amy Satterthwaite and Amelia Kerr steadied the ship to 37-2.
However, when former captain Satterthwaite was stumped by Amy Jones off Glenn for 25 the tide turned again.
That sparked a collapse of 6-26 in less than six overs as New Zealand struggled to cope with the quality of England’s spinners, on a pitch that was offering assistance.
Kerr and Leigh Kasperek also both danced past deliveries from Ecclestone and Villiers, who returned career-best figures of 3-10 from her two overs.
A last-wicket stand of 33 between Maddy Green and Rosemary Mair held England’s victory up, before the former was caught at mid-off off stand-in captain Nat Sciver.
The win completes an almost perfect tour for England with head coach Lisa Keightley starting to stamp her style on the team, after taking over from Mark Robinson in October 2019.
‘Brilliant preparation for the summer’ – what they said
England stand-in captain Nat Sciver: “Everybody chipped in today and put their hand up. We were a bit scrappy with the bat but managed to keep the positivity all the way through to get up to a defendable score.
“The bowling has been our strength throughout the tour so the early wickets were key and then the spinners did really well.
“This has been brilliant preparation to go into the summer, and then before coming back over here for the World Cup next year.”
New Zealand captain Sophie Devine: “I thought we probably let them score 30-40 more runs than we would have liked. We know how good this England side are and unfortunately not being able to put them under pressure has been a bit of a theme in this series.
“We are on a journey and we’ve got to keep looking at the big picture. We’ve been under par but we’ve got to learn how to play consistent cricket against the best sides.”
England all-rounder Katherine Brunt: “We’ve got mixture of experience and youth so it is about learning from each other and I think the youngsters in our team are really experienced at the moment so they are teaching us as much as we are teaching them.
“It is one day a time for me at the moment, being almost 36. It is about enjoying the moment and staying in it, and enjoying what I’ve got left with the girls.”