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New Zealand vs England: The tourists crumble to give the White Ferns a win in the third T20

New Zealand vs England: The tourists crumble to give the White Ferns a win in the third T20

  • Written by Matthew Henry
  • BBC Sports

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, England still have six wickets remaining after Heather Knight was run out with a required 22 runs off 22 balls.

New Zealand 155-3 (20 overs): Defin 60 (37), iCare 44* (35)

England 152-8 (20 overs): Boucher 71 (47), Beaumont 37 (34)

New Zealand won by three runs

A remarkable collapse from England gave New Zealand a dramatic three-run win in the third T20 as the hosts kept the series alive in Nelson.

England were cruising in pursuit of 156, needing just 29 runs off 29 balls with eight wickets remaining.

But Maya Bouchier fell for 71 and England lost by six for 25 as they poised to take an unassailable series lead 3-0.

The tourists needed eight from the last over but Susie Bates only conceded four and claimed two wickets.

England's chase could have been the highest in T20s in New Zealand after Sophie Devine hit a 37-ball 60 in 155-3, but should have been well within it.

New Zealand skipper Devin put on 99 off 68 with Amelia Kerr and was the bowler when Boshier was caught out for triggering the shift.

England will be boosted by the availability of Sophie Ecclestone, Danny White, Alice Capsey and Nat Sciver-Brent for match four on Wednesday when they join the five-match series after participating in the FA Women's Super League.

However, tourists will have to wait for Sarah Glenn's fitness.

England throw it away

England's goal was the Test, but they could not have been in better control of the chase.

After losing opener Sophia Dunkley, who was run out for a duck in the second, the elegant Boshier scored all around the wicket in her highest T20 score as she shared a 92-run partnership with Tammy Beaumont, who made 37 off 34 balls.

Bouchier had hit six and 11 fours when she tried to clear the ropes again but this time she chose to long on.

Subsequent leader Heather Knight was guilty of a rare error. Their comeback for two was exhausted by a direct hit from Kerr from mid-wicket, and from there the scare was confirmed, England missing out on the experience of Sciver-Brunt and Wyatt in particular.

Amy Jones was bowled by Kerr who flicked his leg across the line and Bess Heath played her fifth international, Armitage following suit.

Armitage was bowled off her pads by off-spinner Bates with her first ball of the match – the first delivery of the final.

England should have played smarter, but they could also have had complaints that the final ball of the penultimate over was not awarded as a leg-side cross.

Without the extra run and extra delivery, Danielle Gibson, who finished 10 games without out, lost the bat in the final over and Charlie Dean missed a reverse sweep with two balls remaining.

She was at a loss as she went to the final frontier.

New Zealand keeps hopes alive

New Zealand's total was their highest against England, but it was no more than par on a pitch that offered little for the bowlers until it began to slow down late.

England dropped both openers inside the powerplay – wicket-keeper Jones could not collect a down edge from Bates and Glenn missed a straight chance to take Bernadine Bezuidenhout to mid-on – allowing New Zealand to add 44 for the first wicket.

Glenn made the breakthrough in her opening by tripping Betts, but after hitting her head on a tumble when missing the previous opportunity, she left the field soon after and did not return.

Her absence allowed Devine to build on a steady start in the second half of her innings.

The hosts were 113-2 after 16 overs before Devine started the 17th over, bowled by Linsey Smith, for a four, hitting a six over mid-wicket and clearing the ropes again in the next over to go to his fifty off 30 balls.

However, when the skipper deflected a full toss from Gibson to mid-on in the final over – which cost just four – there was a sense that England were on top, despite Kerr finishing unbeaten with 44.

“We needed to be a little smarter” – reaction

“A lot of good things and a very disappointing ending,” England captain Heather Knight told TNT Sports. “We needed to be smarter and show composure at the back end.

“Maya hit great. She came out with the intent we wanted and showed her class.