Ruthless England thrash New Zealand in opening ODI

First ODI, Chester-le-Street

New Zealand 156 (33.3 overs): Halliday 51 (60); Dean 4-38

England 157-1 (21.2 overs): Beaumont 76* (69), Bouchier 67 (50)

England won by nine wickets


England cruised to a dominant nine-wicket win over New Zealand in the opening one-day international at Chester-le-Street.

Openers Tammy Beaumont and Maia Bouchier added 137 as the hosts reached their below-par target of 157 in just 21.2 overs.

Beaumont finished with 76 not out and Bouchier 67 in a brutal and chanceless display on a good batting pitch that New Zealand could not exploit at first use.

They were skittled for 156 inside 33.3 overs, with spinner Charlie Dean taking 4-38.

A positive start of 57-1 after the 10-over powerplay was squandered, as Georgia Plimmer was unluckily run out for 29 after a deflection off her bat at the non-striker's end.

That sparked a collapse to 76-5 before Brooke Halliday became the only batter to offer any resistance with a counter-attacking 51 from 60 balls, but could not find any support from a struggling middle order.

England's reply was ruthless, with Bouchier and Beaumont hitting 24 boundaries between them against an erratic New Zealand bowling display before captain Heather Knight calmly completed the chase.

The three-match ODI series continues at Worcester on Sunday.

Impressive England punish poor New Zealand

Pre-match, Knight said that England's most recent ODI against Pakistan at Chelmsford was the "blueprint" for how they wanted to play the format, and her side certainly received the memo.

While the focus is on T20 cricket as the World Cup in Bangladesh approaches in October, this was a complete performance that really cemented England and Knight's desire to play with more aggression.

New Zealand's tendency to struggle with the bat unless one of Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates or Amelia Kerr perform is a worrying one for the side's progression and it was brutally exploited by England in Durham.

Halliday was a rare bright spark with eight boundaries in her knock but the rest of the line-up had no answers to Dean's relentless accuracy or Sophie Ecclestone's canny variations - the left-arm spinner took the key wickets of both Devine and Kerr.

England's spin attack is the key ingredient in their recipe for success and has been for some time, but the top order has been inconsistent and so the sublime opening partnership between Beaumont and Bouchier, whose previous highest ODI stand was 45, will have provided plenty of confidence.

Both scored freely all around the ground, looked at ease against both pace and spin with Boucher departing for 67 from 50 balls to a smart catch from Bates at cover while Beaumont overturned an lbw on 66 for her only alarm of the innings.

Equally pleasing will be the fact that England put in such an impressive performance without significant contributions from talisman Nat Sciver-Brunt, for they have often been over-reliant on her all-round class.

'It was a masterclass' - reaction

England captain Heather Knight: "It's a really good way to start the series.

"I was pretty happy to sit and watch waiting to bat! It was a masterclass from those two."

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine: “We are really disappointed with our performance. I thought our start with the bat was exceptional, but England pegged us back.

“We’ve got to trust the work we’ve been doing for the last six or seven weeks. We’ve got a big series coming up. We will reflect and come back harder."

Player of the match Charlie Dean: "To finish the game in that way is pretty brilliant. It was a really good team performance today."