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England

All-round England seal comfortable win in T20I series opener

NZ v Eng, 1st T20I, report

A combined bowling effort was well complemented by the batters as England won the first T20I in Wellington on Wednesday, 3 March.

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England's bowlers had set up the foundation for a comfortable seven-wicket win in the T20I series opener against the White Ferns. With this win, England have now extended their winning streak in T20Is to nine, and have taken a series lead of 1-0 with two matches remaining. 

Chasing 97, England's openers continued the good work of their bowlers from the first innings, putting on a valuable half-century stand. Danni Wyatt hit the first boundary for her side off Amelia Kerr in the third over and kept dealing with the New Zealand bowlers with confidence. 

In the next over, the new No.1 ODI batter Tammy Beaumont, who top-scored in the ODI leg of the series and averaged 231, got into the groove as she hit Rosemary Mair for two back-to-back fours. The duo brought up their 50-run stand without any fuss in the eighth over, as the visitors looked in control.

Leigh Kasperek drew first blood for her side when she had Wyatt, who made a 26-ball 33, caught by Sophie Devine. The spinner's next over saw two more England wickets fall – Beaumont caught on the first fall for 25 while two balls later, skipper Heather Knight was run out for nought courtesy of a brilliant direct hit from Jess Kerr. 

But without a big total to defend, New Zealand's bowlers found it difficult to contain England. Amy Jones (12*) and Nat Sciver (26*) made sure there weren't any more hiccups, and took their side across the victory line with four overs to spare. 

Earlier, sent in to bat, New Zealand got off to a shaky start, losing their skipper to Nat Sciver for two runs in the second over. In her next over, Sciver struck again, claiming the prized scalp of Amy Satterthwaite, who made a fluent century in the final ODI between the two sides. 

Amelia Kerr, coming in at No.4, tried to steady the innings with opening batter Hayley Jensen, as they shared a 27-run stand – the highest of New Zealand's innings. The hosts found them in a stuttering position, losing Jensen for 13 to Sarah Glenn before A.Kerr was caught and bowled by the No.1 T20I bowler, Sophie Ecclestone, for 14, in the following over. 

By the end of the 11th over, the White Ferns had lost half their side with only 48 runs on the board. They kept losing wickets regularly with only Katey Martin, who at 36 years and 24 days today, became the oldest player to represent her side, providing some resistance.

England wicket-keeper Amy Jones was brilliant with the gloves, effecting two stumpings, as she inspired her side with the wickets of debutant Brooke Halliday, and Martin.

Martin top-scored for New Zealand with a 32-ball 36 as the rest of their line-up crumbled. Jess Kerr, the No.10 batter, contributed with 10 runs before the hosts were bowled out for a paltry 96.

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