England v New Zealand: third women’s T20 international – live!
September 9, 2021sports
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5th over: New Zealand 33-0 (Bates 26, Devine 6) Fuming at losing her record, Knight makes yet another bowling change. As Sciver replaced Brunt, so Brunt now replaces Sciver. She tries a bouncer, but Bates hooks it for four.
4th over: New Zealand 28-0 (Bates 22, Devine 5) Another bowling change as Farrant gives way to the slower left-arm of Sophie Ecclestone. The first ball is a long hop and Bates has no mercy, pulling it so hard that the woman at mid-on can’t move five yeards to her right before it’s flashed past her. Ecclestone then shows her class, cramping Bates for room, reeling off the dots and very nearly bowling her off the inside edge with the arm ball. But Bates gets two for that and she has now beaten the record for most runs at one venue in women’s T20 – nicking it from Heather Knight, who is unstoppable at Canberra.
3rd over: New Zealand 22-0 (Bates 16, Devine 5) Heather Knight makes a bowling change at the earliest opportunity, replacing Brunt with Nat Sciver – Amy Jones standing up again. Devine gets off the mark with a whip for four past fine leg. Then she misses the same shot and the one with the whip is Jones, whipping off the bails. There’s a review, but it’s just a formality. Bates on-drives for four, powerfully, and that’s 11 off the over.
2nd over: New Zealand 11-0 (Bates 11, Devine 0) At the other end it’s Tash Farrant, with her left-arm medium, and Amy Jones standing up. Bates hits the first four of the evening with an off-drive, and then she’s dropped by Farrant herself – she did well to get down to a low chance but couldn’t hold on it. To rub it in, Bates lofts her for another four.
1st over: New Zealand 3-0 (Bates 3, Devine 0) It’s Brunt to Bates, and both are switched on. The first two balls are on off stump and Bates middles them, on the front foot and then the back, without piercing the ring. She gets it right off the fourth ball, forcing for three, but Brunt starts with two dots against Devine too, to complete a typically stingy first over. On commentary,. Adam Collins reminds us that last time these two teams played at Taunton on the same day, they both broke records (in different games).
Nooooo! Mady Villiers has been left out, presumably for failing to take four catches and two run-outs on Saturday. The good news is that Katherine Brunt returns, to add depth to the batting as well as fury to the bowling. The New Zealanders aren’t messing around: they retain all of their winning team.
England 1 Tammy Beaumont, 2 Danni Wyatt, 3 Heather Knight (capt), 4 Nat Sciver, 5 Amy Jones (wkt), 6 Sophia Dunkley, 7 Katherine Brunt, 8 Maia Bouchier, 9 Sophie Ecclestone, 10 Sarah Glenn, 11 Tash Farrant.
New Zealand 1 Suzie Bates, 2 Sophie Devine (capt), 3 Amy Satterthwaite, 4 Maddy Green, 5 Brooke Halliday, 6 Katey Martin (wkt), 7 Hayley Jensen, 8 Thamsyn Newton, 9 Hannah Rowe, 10 Jess Kerr, 11 Leigh Kasperek.
Heather Knight is back, back, back. Not only has she won the toss and opted to have a bowl – she’s also been presented with a special cap to mark her 200th England appearance. The speech was made by Lydia Greenaway, who, according to her Sky colleague Charlie Dagnall, had her notes written on her hand.
Evening everyone and welcome to the third and final T20 between England and New Zealand. Douglas Adams said the answer to life, the universe and everything was 42. If he’d been a sportswriter, he might have been tempted to scrap that and say the answer was 1-1. All the best cricket series, like all the best football matches, go by way of 1-1: the team that’s gone behind comes bouncing back. That’s what New Zealand did at Hove on Saturday, propelled by Sophie Devine, who showed that in T20 you can play a captain’s innings and endanger the windows at the same time. She starred with the bat, the ball and her comments afterwards, in which she said that “we need to normalise the conversation around [athletes and] mental health”.
The other star of that game was Mady Villiers, with her phenomenal fielding. Can she please give the England men’s team some tips? At Hove she took three catches and a run-out and yet ended up empty-handed. Tonight, at Taunton, she has the chance to get her hands on a trophy – and so does everyone else, thanks to the magic of 1-1.
Play begins at 6.30pm local time, so I’ll be back around 6.05 with the toss and the teams.