8th over: England 58-1 (Beaumont 29, Sciver 13) On comes Jensen, and what a welcome she receives from Sciver, who presents the full face before effortlessly lifting her over long off for six! That was a beautiful shot, the power so extreme as to not require a follow-through, and a single follows then Beaumont misses with a ramp before yanking from outside off to deep square for one more.
7th over: England 50-1 (Beaumont 28, Sciver 6) Rowe into the attack and her first two deliveries are taken for singles, then after four dots Sciver tonks one up in the air … and again it plummets shy of the fielder. Much better over for NZ though, just three from it.
6th over: England 47-1 (Beaumont 27, Sciver 4) Beaumont goes over the top, hoiking to midwicket, and somehow the ball drops between three fielders. On first glance it looked like someone should’ve got there, but seeing it again there was nothing any of them could’ve done. But when Beaumont comes down and hammers straight, Devine has a chance for caught and bowled … but she can’t get her hands in the right place, wearing one on the knee instead. It never rains. They run one, then Sciver steals one more, and at the end of the powerplay, England are ensconced. New Zealand need something here, but they need to bowl better than they have and quickly.
5th over: England 43-1 (Beaumont 24, Sciver 3) Kerr returns and Beaumont looks in tremendous nick, getting down to shovel adroitly – if it’s possible to shovel adroitly – adding two to backward square. A wide one then allows Beaumont to clatter four to the point boundary, a single to mid on follows, and this is a belting start for England.
4th over: England 36-1 (Beaumont 17, Sciver 3) Devine continues and Beaumont comes down then, when the length is fuller than expected, glances a single into the on side. Sciver then drives beautifully down the ground but Devine gets a finger to it, saving four and preventing the single, two of which follow before the end of the over.
3rd over: England 33-1 (Beaumont 15, Sciver 2) Sciver forces her first ball for two to midwicket.
WICKET! Wyatt st Martin b Kasperek 14 (England 31-1)
Kasperek takes a bit of pace off and gives one some air, so Wyatt lumbers down to administer more treatment … and misses! Martin quickly removes the bails and the batter will be fuming with herself.
3rd over over: England 31-0 (Beaumont 15, Wyatt 14) Just the one over for Kerr, who’s replaced by Kasperek and her off-breaks. Beaumont flicks her loosener for one, then a loopy full toss invites Wyatt down the track to club through wide mid on for four, then another receives similar treatment. And oh dear, a fielder goes in a long on, then a half-volley gets clouted over cover for a third four in a row.! This is painful to watch, those balls were dreadful, each in their own special way.
2nd over: England 18-0 (Beaumont 14, Wyatt 2) It’s Devine from the other end and Wyatt takes an almighty swing at her second delivery, hammering fresh air over long on for six; the ball passes into Martin’s gloves and a wide follows, then a quick single to Wyatt. Beaumont then whisks two off her toes before flaying one to backward point, and this is a decent start from England
1st over: England 13-0 (Beaumont 11, Wyatt 1) Kerr takes the new globule and Beaumont cuts her first ball away for two then takes a single, before a no ball yields a free hit which yields a four, Wyatt scuffing around the corner and to the fence at midwicket. England are away, and when Kerr sends down a floaty half-volley looking for inswing, Beaumont punishes her with a glorious cover-drive for four, a glorious knuck resounding around the ground. Wyatt then bunts to mid on and sets off, grounding her bat well before the a direct hit removes the bails; the umpires call for the camera, which proves what everyone saw.
New Zealand huddle on the fence and run out, then Beaumont – swinging bat and arm around her shoulder, Botham-style – and Wyatt follow.
Charlotte Edwards says that she’d never seen anything like the Hundred as far as domestic women’s cricket goes. By the end, having a big crowd was normal, and she also talks about how good it is for the players to be in high-pressure situations.
Lisa Keightley says this series is a good test to see where her team are – everyone is clear about the style the team want to play, now they just have to do it. she really enjoyed the Hundred, the crowds especially, and some of the performances made her job, selecting an XI, more difficult. As a coach, it was good for her to see who could perform under pressure or keep good form rolling, and she’s looking for players who excel in all forms of the game.
New Zealand will be without Lea Tahuhu, who’s on her way back from a cancer scare, and Amelia Kerr, who stood down from the tour to prioritise her mental health. But their top three are together again for the first time since October 2020, and look the most likely architects of victory.
England reward Emma Lamb for a fine Hundred, and Ebony Rainford-Brent notes that England’s players now know what it takes to perform in front of a big crowd. I’m looking forward to seeing how Tash Farrant goes in her first international outing of the summer, because her pace and left-arm angle have the potential to win a lot of matches.
New Zealand: Bates, Devine (c), Satterthwaite, Green, Halliday, Martin (wk), Jensen, Newton, Rowe, Kerr, Kasperek.
Sciver knew she’d be captaining yesterday and feel bad for her captain, but is happy to lead the team. She’d have bowled too, and is her players are looking forward to testing themselves against brilliant players; she hopes the music gets pumping and the crowd get involved.
New Zealand win the toss and bowl!
Sophie Devine thinks there might be something in the pitch, which is why she made that call. She says she needed the break she took and is excited to welcome back Suzie Bates, whose batting and energy in the field have been missed.
It looks a bit parky at Chelmsford, and a bit grimy too, but I don’t think it’s going to rain.
I’ve been watching Nat Sciver for some years now, and I’ve only just noticed that her name is (sort of) what people at university call Natural Sciences (Nat Sci).
Heather Knight, the England captain, will miss tonight’s match with a hamstring injury
Eesh. Nat Sciver will wear the armband instead.
If you haven’t already, you should also check this important piece by Tanya Aldred:
It’s been a decent little summer for Sophia Dunkley, who was on press duty yesterday – you can see what she said if you click the link at the top of the page. But this line here, sounds so simple it’s almost cliched, and yet contained within it is a profound truth that is applicable to life beyond sport: be in the moment.
“This year has been one of my more successful ones,” Dunkley said. “For me it’s been my mindset [that has changed]. In the past it’s easy to get fixated on selections or games which are coming up. The more I’ve tried to think of each game as it comes and be in the moment, that’s where I’ve felt I’ve been able to impact the game more.”
Cricket that’s already underway: get it while it’s hot it’s lovely.
Good morrow one and all and welcome to the first of five T20 internationals between England and New Zealand!
This promises to be a belter of a series. England are closing in on Australia at the top of the world rankings, swept the White Ferns when the teams met in March, and are riding a Hundred wave which should ensure a sell-out crowd tonight. Already a good side, they’re not only getting better but getting deeper, in the process of integrating fresh talent from the domestic game that we should get to enjoy over the next few weeks, then again when England visit Pakistan next month.
New Zealand, meanwhile, can’t call upon so profound a pool of talent but do welcome back Sophie Devine, fresh following a break from the game, and Suzie Bates, recovered from a shoulder injury. Add to that their vice-captain, Amy Satterthwaite, and you’ve got plenty of scope to win any match, especially in the shorter formats. Go well everyone.