England Women Dominates New Zealand Women in 1st ODI

England defeated New Zealand by nine wickets in an incredible show of ability and planning in the first Women’s ODI at Chester-le-Street.

After a brilliant spin attack destroyed the New Zealand lineup, England’s explosive duo of Maia Bouchier and Tammy Beaumont powered the team to victory.

England Women Dominates New Zealand Women in 1st ODI
Tammy Beaumont and Maia Bouchier scored 137 runs off of 106 balls for the first wicket. Photo Credit: Getty Images

New Zealand 156 (Halliday 51, Dean 4-38, Ecclestone 2-28) lost to England 157 for 1 (Beaumont 76*, Bouchier 67) by 9 wickets.

England’s first priority going into the second part of their home summer was to play all three spinners together whenever possible, and they succeeded admirably in opening the first of two white-ball series with New Zealand.

In the first of three ODIs in Durham on Wednesday, Charlie Dean, Sophie Ecclestone, and Sarah Glenn shared seven wickets apiece, with Dean taking four for 38. New Zealand was bowled out for just 156.

Addressing that would have been a top priority for the hosts as well, since they had shown a lack of ruthlessness in their victories over Pakistan in both white-ball formats when they were in England last month. Maia Bouchier and Tammy Beaumont responded with a vicious opening partnership of 137 off 106 balls, which helped them to a nine-wicket victory with 28.4 overs remaining.

Following a brave half-century by Brooke Halliday, who provided the only real fight from New Zealand, Bouchier hit a blistering 67 off 50 balls, and Beaumont scored an undefeated 76 off 69. Before Halliday gained the lone wicket at home, Bouchier spooned Halliday’s eighth delivery straight to Suzie Bates, who took a low catch diving forwards at cover. Beaumont and Heather Knight then saw their side cross the finish line. They had brought England to within 20 runs of victory.

England’s openers took advantage of New Zealand’s even more poor bowling with exquisite placement and unrelenting force. They each hit a six on the ground and struck boundary after boundary through the majority of the zones. There is intense rivalry at the top of the order with Sophia Dunkley, who was a star performer on the equivalent tour earlier this year, returning to England’s side for the three ODIs and five T20Is versus New Zealand.

When asked recently what he wanted to do against the White Ferns, who had lost 1-2 and 1-4 at home in March and April, in three ODIs and five T20Is, The head coach of England, Jon Lewis, stated on the Powerplay podcast of ESPNcricinfo: “I’m really keen to try and get all three of my spinners in every team that we play.” It’s an extremely difficult task to complete. They are excellent bowlers and spinners, therefore I’m doing all in my power to balance the side so that those players may play.”

As Kate Cross was sidelined due to an abdominal injury and Nat Sciver-Brunt was unable to bowl due to a knee issue, the opportunity arose for Lauren Filer and Lauren Bell to take on the seam-bowling workload on a Seat Unique Riverside pitch that was predicted to provide some turn.

Despite the slow pitch, New Zealand won the toss and had ideal batting conditions with clear skies and a quick outfield.

It took a few balls for Filer to find her length, but in the fourth over of the day, Bates, who hit three fours en route to 16 off 12 balls, was stopped by her eighth delivery, a beauty that jagged back in and shot into the top of Bates’ middle and off stumps.

With her foot accidently diverting Melie Kerr’s jab down the pitch towards midwicket as she started to run, Georgia Plimmer was run out in a remarkable fashion. Bouchier gathered and blasted the ball to wicketkeeper Amy Jones when Plimmer was short of her ground.

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England Women Dominates New Zealand Women in 1st ODI
Brooke Halliday scored 51 off 60 balls. Photo Credit: PA Photos/Getty Images

This forced Sophie Devine to the crease, and her presence became even more important when Kerr top-edged her attempt at a slog-sweep off Ecclestone, sending it high into the air and landing in the hands of an anticipating Jones a few moments later. On an ugly scorecard, Plimmer’s 29 was ultimately New Zealand’s second-best score after Halliday’s.

Once more, Ecclestone and Jones combined to leave New Zealand reeling at 75 for 4. The former produced a gorgeous delivery that drifted in then spun away, while the latter made the sharpest of catches off Devine’s thick outside edge.

The White Ferns collapsed to 111 for 7, with Maddy Green falling lbw to Sciver-Brunt and Izzy Gaze and Hannah Rowe departing similarly to Dean.

When Jess Kerr pushed at one outside off stump and threw a light edge behind, Dean claimed her third wicket and Jones her third catch. Molly Penfold then fell cheaply, struck by a Dean delivery that spun back in to rattle the top of leg stump.

Before edging Glenn’s next ball high into the air for Heather Knight to pocket a diving catch, Halliday struck the only six of the New Zealand innings, taking a fuller delivery outside off-stump from Dean down the ground. She also scored seven fours, including one behind backward square leg to reach her half-century.

Ecclestone finished with seven overs at 2 for 28, with Glenn, Filer, and Sciver-Brunt taking one wicket apiece. With the outcome, it might not be the last ODI that Dean, Ecclestone, and Glenn have played together. This was only their second time playing together.

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