England beat New Zealand in thrilling series decider as Sophia Dunkley hits winning four in final over

The women of England beat New Zealand in the thriller to win the T20I series 2-1; Sophia Dunkley hits four match winners as Heather Knight’s team triumphs with a ball to spare; Knight scores 42 in his 200th game for England after returning from a hamstring injury

Sophia Dunkley scored the four match winners as England beat New Zealand with a ball to spare in a thrilling T20 series decider at Taunton.

England appeared to be moving toward victory as Dunkley (22 no versus 21 balls) and Captain Heather Knight (42 of 36) lowered the requirement to eight of eight balls in their pursuit of 145.

However, Knight was on the backend of the 19 before Maia Bouchier (1) fell at the start of the 20 and the task became four of two deliveries.

Dunkley, however, then sent Amy Satterthwaite’s full pitch to the midwicket fence as England sealed a four-wicket victory in Knight’s 200th international appearance and completed a 2-1 series hit.

Knight, who missed the first two games of the series due to a hamstring injury, edged England 42-3 in their pursuit, sharing positions of 55 and 40 with Amy Jones (32 of 19) and Dunkley. respectively.

The England captain tasted victory in her historic match, but New Zealand’s Suzie Bates suffered defeat in hers, with 34 of 30 balls in her 250 game for the White Ferns in a losing cause.

Bates had shot six limits early on before New Zealand’s mid-inning break was rectified by 50 runs of the final four overs through Maddy Green (16), Katey Martin (13th versus 6) and Brook Halliday (25th versus 16).

The Tourists, who won the second T20 at Hove by four wickets after losing the first at Chelmsford by 46 races, were driven by spinner Leigh Kasperek who fired Nat Sciver (2) and Danni Wyatt (35 of 23) from successive balls in the seventh. upon.

But the blows from Knight, Jones and Dunkley frustrated New Zealand, which will now seek revenge in the five-game one-day international series, which begins in Bristol next Thursday.

The first ODI will be Bates’ 251st international and she shone in her 250 after being knocked down in seven by left-arm English closer Tash Farrant.

Bates helped New Zealand to 45-0 before it was thrown by Farrant (1-34), who had reacted to seeing Bates hit his previous delivery, an errant knuckle ball, to the fence as he rounded the wicket and knocked down stumps. central and legs. .

That wicket would have made Farrant feel much better, as the closer had also squandered the opportunity to run out of New Zealand captain Sophie Devine (35), who had played Bates’ second fiddle, in four on the pitcher’s end.

Bates’ departure caused a drop in run rate, and New Zealand was only able to rally two limits early on, both from Devine, between overs eight and 16, during which time leg-spinning Sarah Glenn staggered four overs for 20 races and there was a brief reflector failure.

Glenn had Satterthwaite (13) caught in the depths by the return of Katherine Brunt, while Sophie Ecclestone (1-30) threw Devine through the door as the visiting captain watched to hit the side of the leg.

New Zealand was 94-3 with four overs remaining, but Green then hit back-to-back limits off Farrant at 17 and when he came out at 18, caught brilliantly near the stumps by England goalkeeper Jones as he attempted to uppercut a goalie. Sciver’s: Martin and Halliday added 36 runs from the last 14 balls.

Wyatt’s three limits in a row against Jess Kerr in the sixth final of the chase had England at 40-1 after the power play (Tammy Beaumont had started on three 11-ball slows), but two wickets at the same amount. balls in the seventh shook the house. side.

First, Sciver (2) poked Kasperek in the middle of deep field, before Wyatt then cut the next delivery, a drag down, indeed, deep squared when his innings, which included six fours and six, were cut. on the 23rd ball.

Knight rallied England, first alongside Jones and then, when Jones dragged Kasperek over his stumps with 48 required runs, with Dunkley.

The game was in the hands of England and even though New Zealand came back to it when Knight hit Devine to Bates midway and Satterthwaite pitched Bouchier and later limited the hosts to three runs of the next three balls, Dunkley struck the decisive blow.

Watch the first international one-day game between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket from 12.30pm on Thursday 16 September.

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