England have clinched their home T20I series against New Zealand, chasing down a target of 145 with just one ball to spare in Taunton.
Needing seven off the final over bowled by off-spinner Amy Satterthwaite (1/29), Sophia Dunkley dispatched the fifth ball through mid-wicket for a winning boundary, holding her nerve in a knock of 22* (21).
England win the third T20I and take the series 2-1 🎉— ICC (@ICC) September 9, 2021
Sophia Dunkley, smashing the winning runs with just one ball remaining, securing victory for the hosts. #ENGvNZ | https://t.co/tb8qmzzYvZ pic.twitter.com/6wVIjoB0cL
England won the toss and elected to field in the series decider, with skipper Heather Knight returning from injury. The experience of New Zealand opening pair Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine was on show, though the duo were held to 37/0 in the Powerplay through a mix of swing and spin bowling.
Bates took the lead of the pair, reaching 34 (30) before falling to a well-executed plan by left-armer Tash Farrant (1/34). Around the wicket, the quick speared her delivery into leg-stump, with Bates failing to execute a drive.
Spin was the order for England throughout the middle with leg-spinner Sarah Glenn (1/20) and the left-arm orthodox of Sophie Ecclestone (1/30) striking in successive overs. Glenn claimed left-hander Satterthwaite (13) trying to heave over long-on, with Devine undone by an Ecclestone armball for 35 (33).
After the double blow, the White Ferns countered, thanks largely to Brooke Halliday (25* off 16) and ‘keeper Katey Martin (13* off 6).
The pair combined for six boundaries, hitting 36 runs in the last 14 balls to propel the tourists to 144/4 after their allotment.
Danni Wyatt led England’s chase despite the early loss of Tammy Beaumont (3) to Jess Kerr, her only wicket in a spell of 1/27 (4). Nat Sciver was the first of Leigh Kasperek’s three wickets (3/25), falling for just 2, and when the off-spinner claimed Wyatt for 35, England sat precariously at 42/3 in the seventh over.
Captain Knight and Amy Jones pushed England’s charge, putting on 55 in 38 deliveries before Kasperek struck again, this time disturbing the stumps to claim Jones for 32 (19).
Dunkley joined Knight, and the pair moved England to within eight of the target, before Knight was dismissed by her opposing captain Devine for 42 (36). Maia Bouchier fell for one to send nerves through the England camp, though Dunkley was cool in the middle, putting away Satterthwaite through mid-wicket to seal the series victory.
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