6th over: England 34-0 (Winfield-Hill 15, Beaumont 15) Four more to Beaumont, scrunched through the covers on one knee when Kerr overpitches. She looks of a mind to continue her outstanding record against New Zealand.
5th over: England 30-0 (Winfield-Hill 15, Beaumont 11) Devine’s radar has been slightly askew. She started her previous over with a wide and begins this with three in four balls. It doesn’t end particularly well either, with Winfeld-Hill skimming another lovely drive past extra cover for four. This is becoming a really good start for England.
4th over: England 23-0 (Winfield-Hill 11, Beaumont 11) Winfield-Hill chases a very wide delivery from Kerr, slicing it up and over gully for a single. Beaumont follows that with an immaculate cover drive, punched carefully through the infield for her second boundary.
3rd over: England 15-0 (Winfield-Hill 8, Beaumont 6) Devine surprises Beaumont with a lovely hooping inswinger that beats the inside edge and thuds into the pad. New Zealand appeal for LBW but the umpire Paul Pollard decides it did too much.
And now Beaumont has been dropped by Maddy Green! She drove expansively at an outswinger and edged the ball to the right of first slip, where the diving Green couldn’t hold on to a sharp chance.
2nd over: England 12-0 (Winfield-Hill 7, Beaumont 5) Jess Kerr shares the new ball. She and Devine complement each other nicely – they’re both right-arm seamers, but Devine swings it away and Kerr brings it back into the right-handers. When she overpitches slightly, Winfield-Hill gets her first boundary with a high-class drive through extra cover. That shot takes her past 1,000 ODI runs.
1st over: England 5-0 (Winfield-Hill 1, Beaumont 4) Sophie Devine opens with a series of tempting outswingers. After offering no stroke to the first two, Tammy Beaumont reaches outside off stump to time a square drive for four.
It’s a lovely afternoon in Bristol: little brisk, but sunny and cricket-friendly. The England openers Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield-Hill punch gloves as they stroll onto the field; the White Ferns captain Sophie Devine is going to open the bowling.
England Beaumont, Winfield-Hill, Knight (c), Sciver, Jones (wk), Dunkley, Brunt, Dean, Ecclestone, Cross, Davies.
New Zealand Down, Bates, Green, Satterthwaite, Devine (c), Halliday, Martin (wk), Rowe, Kerr, Tahuhu, Kasperek.
New Zealand win the toss and bowl
There’s a bit of moisture in the pitch, and Heather Knight said she would also have bowled first. The 20-year-old Charlie Dean makes her England debut, having been presented with her cap by her hero Charlotte Edwards.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of the first ODI between England and New Zealand in Bristol. This is the bit where we tell you how many days there are until the beginning of the World Cup. We are 169 upper meridian transits away from the opening match of the tournament between the hosts New Zealand and TBA in Mount Manganaui. For the five teams who have already qualified – the last three will be decided in November – all roads lead to New Zealand.
This five-match series is another chance for the teams to hone their plans and whittle down their squads. It’s not too late for a bolter, as England have shown with the selection of the uncapped allrounder Charlie Dean. The experienced Danni Wyatt has also been recalled after missing the 2-1 series win over India earlier in the summer. England have had a lot of 2-1 victories lately, in both white-ball formats. But the defeats have irritated their captain Heather Knight and she wants them to be “super ruthless” in this series.
They are certainly strong favourites against a New Zealand side whose ODI form is dreadful. They’ve lost 14 of their last 15 games, a run that is only slightly mitigated by the quality of the opposition. It’s hard to reconcile that level of failure with a team that includes players like Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Amy Satterthwaite and Leigh Kasperek.
It’s not all doom and gloom. As Charles Dederich famously said, today is the first day of the rest of their World Cup cycle. If the tournament goes well for New Zealand next spring, nobody will care about the preamble.
Play starts at 1pm in Bristol, midnight in Auckland – and, I swear to you, the weather forecast is pretty good.