New Zealand v England: Maia Bouchier hits 91 in fourth T20 to seal series

Maia Bouchier batting v New Zealand
Maia Bouchier has scored 217 runs in the first four T20s of the series, averaging 72.3
England 177-3 (20 overs): Bouchier 91 (56)
New Zealand 130-7 (20 overs): Dean 4-26
England won by 47 runs

England sealed a T20 series victory with a game to spare with a dominant 47-run win over New Zealand in Wellington.

England’s imposing 177-3 was set up by opener Maia Bouchier’s stunning 91 from only 56 balls.

In reply, spinner Charlie Dean took 4-26 as the hosts stumbled to 130-7 from their 20 overs.

The White Ferns were left to rue a sloppy fielding performance, dropping Bouchier twice and missing a stumping.

Captain Sophie Devine was unable to bat after sustaining a quad injury in the field, to further dent New Zealand’s hopes of chasing the competitive total.

But they should not have been chasing such a target after Izzy Gaze missed a regulation stumping with Bouchier on 31, Jess Kerr could not hold on in her follow-through when she was on 44 and substitute fielder Leigh Kasperek spilled a tough diving chance on 80.

England were also gifted plenty of runs through New Zealand’s substandard ground fielding, and punished their wilting bowlers for 65 runs from the last five overs.

Bouchier’s knock included 12 fours and two sixes, before captain Heather Knight’s 21 from nine balls and Nat Sciver-Brunt’s 29 from 14 balls added the late impetus from which New Zealand never recovered.

The final T20 takes place at the same venue on Friday.

Brilliant Bouchier takes her chance

It is turning into a coming-of-age series for Bouchier, 25, who had previously struggled to nail down a permanent spot in England’s hotly contested batting line-up.

Scores of 43 and a 47-ball 71 in the first and third T20s respectively earned her a promotion to open from number three, with the out-of-sorts Sophia Dunkley dropping down to number seven.

It was a watchful start for England, with Danni Wyatt returning from the Women’s Premier League in India to replace Tammy Beaumont and complete the new-look opening partnership.

Wyatt became England’s leading T20 run-scorer in the process of scoring nine as they reached 35-1 after the six-over powerplay.

But Bouchier grew in confidence and struck powerfully down the ground, played innovative reverse ramps and sweeps, and was impressively quick between the wickets even when she was suffering with a leg injury sustained in the middle overs.

Alice Capsey and Sciver-Brunt were also back from the WPL and, while the former was quite scratchy for her 25 from 32 balls, the latter made the most of the platform set by Bouchier with an entertaining stand of 35 from 14 balls with Knight.

Another rapid innings from the captain, who has a strike-rate of 150 across the four T20s, is a positive boost for England, showing that she has improved and adapted her game in the shortest format to suit head coach Jon Lewis’ aggressive style of play.

England a class above

New Zealand batter Hannah Rowe is bowled
England outclassed New Zealand in all three aspects of the game

New Zealand fought admirably in the third T20 to keep themselves in the series but this thrashing was a stark reminder of the gulf in class and depth that exists between countries in women’s cricket.

Their fielding mistakes were disappointing and England were ruthless but, with bat in hand, the hosts never looked confident in taking on the challenge of the chase.

Dean impressed with her accuracy and variation in pace in partnership with the returning Sophie Ecclestone, who took 1-19, while seamer Lauren Bell led the attack maturely again with 1-24.

Devine’s absence heaped the pressure on Suzie Bates and Amelia Kerr, but the former managed only four and all-rounder Kerr was Dean’s first wicket for 21.

And that emphasised the significance of England’s growing strength in depth from a domestic structure that New Zealand do not yet have.

Knight’s side took a 2-0 series lead without Wyatt, Capsey, Sciver-Brunt and Ecclestone, and Bouchier is an indication of the talent pushing through.

Leg-spinner Sarah Glenn missed the match with concussion and will not play in the next either, but she will likely slot straight back in to the XI when fit, which then puts Dunkley under pressure.

But, with a T20 World Cup approaching in the autumn, it is a selection headache that Lewis will welcome with a luxury of options available to him.

‘It’s a different story if we take our chances’ – reaction

Player of the match Maia Bouchier on TNT Sports: “I really enjoyed myself out there. Getting the chance at the top of the order was very special for me – it’s something I love doing.

“I liked having the opportunity to go out and play with the intent and positivity that we are always looking for.”

England captain Heather Knight: “Maia was outstanding. She kept her game very simple but it was great to see and it was pleasing to finish with some momentum as well.

“It’s very windy here so we had to navigate those conditions and rethink a couple of tactics, but our bowlers adapted to it really well.”

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine: “I wanted to get out there and bat, but it was a case of looking ahead to the three one-day internationals later in the series.

“We were poor in the field; we didn’t take our opportunities. We know it would be a different story if we took them. Maia was outstanding, but it’s something we’ve got to put right.”

Source link

About the author

Opera Jobs

Opera Jobs is a one-stop destination for job seekers and employers alike. This innovative job website was created with the goal of connecting talented individuals with exciting employment opportunities in various industries. Opera Jobs boasts a user-friendly interface that allows job seekers to easily search for jobs based on their preferences, skills, and experience. Employers can also post job listings and seamlessly connect with qualified candidates through the platform. With a wide range of job categories and locations available, Opera Jobs is the perfect platform for both job seekers and employers to find their ideal match in the competitive job market.

Leave a Comment