Gaaaaaame four. In a five-match series, this is the one after the third match. You with me? Good. It’s been a battle of the collapses in this series. England have been decidedly off colour so far, at least in the batting department. Their first effort had a middle-order crash rescued by Katherine Brunt down the order to reach 241. Their next two efforts didn’t clear 200. They’ve been bowled out in each of their three innings. In three hits Amy Jones has 24 runs, Sophia Dunkley 22, and in two hits Natalie Sciver has made 1 and 2.
Luckily for England, the New Zealanders are not much chop with the bat either. Despite the lacklustre totals, they visitors have fallen short twice, bowled out both times, and staggered to a target of 179 with seven wickets down. So as long as England can put any sort of score on the board, they’re likely to win. Their greater concern though will be getting into a higher gear in the lead-up to the 50-over World Cup next February.
With the ball, though, things have been better. Kate Cross has more wickets than anyone in the world since she came back into the side in 2019: she has 31 of them at 18 runs apiece. Newcomers Charlie Dean and Tash Farrant (in her second incarnation as an England player) have impressed. For New Zealand, Leigh Kasperek has been taking wickets, Lea Tahuhu has come back well from medical trouble, and Molly Penfold debuted.
All to play for today, then, England leading the series 2-1.