England Women need just 130 to beat New Zealand Women in a dress rehearsal for Sunday’s Vitality Tri-Nations final despite Sophie Devine’s 52 at Bristol.
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Heather Knight’s side made a strong start – after the visitors chose to bat – by dismissing New Zealand captain Suzie Bates, playing in her 100th T20 international, for a duck as Amy Jones took a well-judged catch at deep square off Anya Shrubsole (3-16).
The White Ferns should have been 2-2 but Sarah Taylor shelled a straightforward chance behind after Katie George found Devine’s edge with her first ball.
England continued to boss the powerplay as Sophie Ecclestone grabbed a wicket with her second ball, trapping Katey Martin lbw – New Zealand 33-2 after six overs.
The spinner’s impressive series came to a premature halt, though, when she went over on her right ankle after throwing the ball in from the deep but, after a brief spell off the field, doubts over her participation in Sunday’s final were eased by her reappearance.
Devine led the recovery with a 59-run partnership with Amy Satterthwaite, who struck five fours in a 28-ball knock of 37 before becoming George’s first international scalp, trapped lbw.
Maddy Green fell in the very next over, the 13th, undone by another fine sliding catch in the deep from Jones and Jess Watkins’ cameo came to a sudden halt when she was stumped off a Nat Sciver wide – Taylor claiming her 50th stumping.
New Zealand’s stop-start innings hit another road bump when Amelia Kerr fell lbw to Dani Hazell (2-21), attempting to reverse sweep, before Hannah Rowe fell in the same over hitting across the line to make it 118-7.
Devine looked likely to carry her bat until she was the last wicket to fall, well caught by Sciver at deep mid-wicket with 11 balls of the innings remaining.
Watch England’s chase live on Sky Sports Cricket or follow via our match blog.
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