Brilliant England crush New Zealand in opening T20

First T20, Southampton

England 197-3 (20 overs): Wyatt 76 (51); Tahuhu 2-33

New Zealand 138-9 (20 overs): Bates 43 (33); Glenn 3-16

England won by 59 runs


England continued their dominance over New Zealand with a crushing 59-run win in the opening T20 at Southampton.

Having won the preceding one-day international series 3-0, the hosts started the shorter format in style by smashing a ruthless 197-3.

It would have been New Zealand's highest-ever run chase in the format, and they started confidently before a huge collapse from 63-1 to 67-6.

From there, only Jess Kerr's sprightly 38 from 25 balls saved the White Ferns from total capitulation as they limped their way to 138-9 from 20 overs.

Leg-spinner Sarah Glenn changed the game with three wickets in the 10th over, including the key scalps of Suzie Bates on 43 and captain Sophie Devine for a duck.

England boldly selected four spinners as an experiment for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in October, adding left-armer Linsey Smith to the attack with Glenn, Sophie Ecclestone and Charlie Dean.

Glenn starred with 3-16, Dean took 2-28 while Smith and Ecclestone claimed a wicket each as New Zealand suffered their biggest T20 defeat to England in terms of margin of runs.

England's total, also their highest in T20s against New Zealand, was set up by Danni Wyatt's entertaining 76 from 51 balls and Nat Sciver-Brunt's 47 from 23 as the pair added 82 for the second wicket.

Freya Kemp's unbeaten 26 from 17 balls then propelled England to just shy of 200 as New Zealand's bowlers wilted on a good batting pitch.

The five-match series continues at Hove on Tuesday.

England outclass New Zealand again

After the ODI clean sweep, New Zealand would have been eyeing the shorter format as a chance to reset and close the gap on England.

But England were relentless, particularly with the bat, as Wyatt and Maia Bouchier set a strong platform of 61, which allowed England to juggle their batting order and promote the outstanding Sciver-Brunt.

The White Ferns could not build any sustained pressure which allowed the experienced duo to score all around the ground, with Wyatt striking 11 fours and a six, and Sciver-Brunt manipulating the field expertly off the spinners before both eventually holed out to the leg-side boundary.

The experiments continued with left-handed Kemp's promotion to number four, suggesting that England will be tactically open-minded in that World Cup in the autumn.

With such an imposing total to defend, it allowed Knight and her bowlers to attack, with Sciver-Brunt and Kemp as her only seam options.

Bates and Amelia Kerr took an attacking approach after opener Georgia Plimmer was calamitously run out for the third time in four innings.

They kept up with the run-rate for most of the powerplay but Amelia Kerr's dismissal in the ninth over again amplified the side's over-reliance on her, Bates and Devine.

That pair fell alongside Izzy Gaze in the next over to bring New Zealand's slim chance of victory to an abrupt end.

England did lose their discipline towards the end of the innings with several dropped chances in Jess Kerr's cameo, but it was the only blemish in yet another one-sided encounter as the gulf between the sides continues to grow.