8th over: England 46-0 (Winfield-Hill 24, Beaumont 14) Devine keeps herself on but strays down the leg side, conceding four leg-byes and a wide, so an over that contains only one run off the bat ends up costing six. Adam Collins, of this parish, is commentating and he points out that this is England’s last ODI till February. The openers are playing as if they’re well aware of that.
7th over: England 40-0 (Winfield-Hill 23, Beaumont 14) Devine makes her first bowling change, replacing the off-colour Tahuhu with Molly Penfold. She starts brightly but then blots her copybook with a waist-high full-toss that is called a no-ball. Winfield-Hill tucks into the free hit, launching it over mid-on for four, and England are already on top.
6th over: England 33-0 (Winfield-Hill 18, Beaumont 13) Devine again, Winfield-Hill again, Down again – dropped again! A tougher chance this time, a drive that went a yard or so to her right at backward point. She got the dive just right and the grab all wrong. Even the best fielders can have a bad day.
5th over: England 25-0 (Winfield-Hill 12, Beaumont 11) Tahuhu is not looking like the bowler who took a five-for the other day. She drops short twice in this over and both openers cash in –Beaumont with a cut for four, Winfield-Hill with a swivel-pull for six.
Sky shows a cap ceremony from earlier on, honouring some women of Kent, past and present. “The good thing about these new caps,” says Lydia Greenway, “is that they have holes for ponytails.”
4th over: England 13-0 (Winfield-Hill 5, Beaumont 6) A maiden for Devine, but a missed opportunity. She again lures Winfield-Hill into a thick edge, and this time it’s a dolly to backward point, waist high, not too sharp – but it’s dropped by the usually reliable Lauren Down. A case of Lauren’s humanity to Lauren.
3rd over: England 13-0 (Winfield-Hill 5, Beaumont 6) Tammy Beaumont picks up two twos off Tahuhu, going back to ease through the covers, then forward to clip past midwicket. Tahuhu gets a warning for running down the line of the stumps.
2nd over: England 9-0 (Winfield-Hill 5, Beaumont 2) At the other end it’s Sophie Devine, swinging the ball prodigiously. She’s more expensive than Tahuhu but also more threatening – the first four of the day, from Lauren Winfield-Hill, comes off a thick edge, squirting past gully.
1st over: England 2-0 (Winfield-Hill 1, Beaumont 1) The new ball is in the hands of Lea Tahuhu and she’s on the spot right away, conceding only two singles. It’s a sleepy September morning in Canterbury with a modest crowd in. Katherine Brunt made another interesting point just now, saying that this series felt like a bit of a come-down after The Hundred. It may be a blight on the men’s schedule, but in itself it’s been a big hit – and for the women’s game, it’s been transformative.
A short history of women’s cricket
Butcher also asks good questions, a talent not given to many people brought up on dressing-room banter. He has the England all-rounder Katherine Brunt with him now, and after teasing her a bit about the fact that she’s having another rest, he gets her to sum up the journey women’s cricket has gone on in her time.
“Always on the rise, to be honest,” she says. “You go from buying your own kit to suddenly getting some kit, thinking that’s the best thing in the world, to then getting a sponsor, to playing in front of a hundred people, to playing in front of a thousand, to 20,000-something at Lord’s. The Hundred was an enormous high and girls were going [she mimes wide-eyed and open-mouthed]. We’ve had people coming to our Rockets games saying they’d travelled five hours to get there.”
A man for all seasons
You know we’ve reached Summer’s End when the TV coverage is being fronted by a person in a raincoat. It turns out on closer inspection to be the OBO’s new favourite commentator, Mark Butcher. He’s fluent and funny and irreverent, and he has reached the top table at the right moment, just as the great Michael Holding bows out.
England 1 Tammy Beaumont, 2 Lauren Winfield-Hill, 3 Heather Knight (capt), 4 Nat Sciver, 5 Amy Jones (wkt), 6 Sophia Dunkley, 7 Danni Wyatt, 8 Charlie Dean, 9 Sophie Ecclestone, 10 Anya Shrubsole, 11 Kate Cross.
New Zealand 1 Lauren Down, 2 Suzie Bates, 3 Maddy Green, 4 Amy Satterthwaite, 5 Sophie Devine (capt), 6 Brooke Halliday, 7 Katey Martin (wkt), 8 Hayley Jensen, 9 Hannah Rowe, 10 Lea Tahuhu, 11 Molly Penfold.
NZ win the toss and bowl
Sophie Devine calls right and feels it’s a grey enough morning to have a bowl. Heather Knight says she would have batted first anyway.
Preamble: the end of the road
Morning everyone and welcome to the final reel. It’s the end of a one-day series that has been too full of life to succumb to the dread phrase “dead rubber”. New Zealand can’t win it, but they can make it 3-2, which would be a fair reflection of their efforts. And England can enjoy themselves knowing not just that the series is in the bag, but that women’s cricket in this country is now more popular than it has ever been.
Today also marks the end of England’s international summer. Can you even remember when it began? I have a hazy impression that it was at the beginning of June. Then, as now, England were playing New Zealand, but it was the men, and it was a Test. It was so long ago that Stuart Broad was fit, Dom Sibley was opening the batting, and there was a cap ceremony for a promising young debutant called James Bracey. And then England let their supporters down by refusing to embark on a run chase. If they’d know that they would win only one Test in the remainder of the season, they might have decided to give it a go.
So here we are, nearly four months later. If you’re sending an email, do tell us about your moment of the summer, large or small – something you’ll remember with a smile when darkness descends at 4pm and you’re still stuck in the queue for the petrol station.
Play starts at 11am local time, so I’ll be back shortly with the toss and the teams.