Jones, Dean stitch record stand to hand England improbable win 

After being reduced to 79/6 in the chase of 208, England managed to secure a four-wicket win in the first women's ODI against New Zealand on the back of a stellar unbeaten stand between Amy Jones and Charlie Dean. 

After being sent in to bat in the first ODI, which is a part of the ICC Women's Championship, New Zealand were given a confident start by Suzie Bates (50) and Bernadine Bezuidenhout (35).

However, when Amy Jones caught Bates off Charlie Dean and Bezuidenhout was trapped leg before soon after, the White Ferns innings fell into a disarray.

They were bowled out for 207 in 48.2 overs, with Dean (3/57), Lauren Bell (3/41) and Kate Cross (2/24) starring for England. Dean's three-wicket scalp helped her cross 50 ODI wickets in just 26 innings, making her the quickest woman to achieve the landmark. She broke a nearly 37-year-old record belonging to Australia's Lyn Fullston, who achieved it in 27 innings.

Fastest Women to 50 ODI Wickets

Player (Fastest to 50 Women's ODI wickets)No. of innings
Charlie Dean (ENG)26
Lyn Fullston (AUS)27
Rajeshwari Gayakwad (IND)28
Laura Marsh (ENG)28
Charmaine Mason (AUS)29
Dane van Niekerk (SA)29

Despite Maia Bouchier's run-a-ball 31, England were in dire straits as they continued losing wickets at regular intervals. New Zealand had the game firmly within their grasp at 79/6. However, Jones and Dean came together to first stabilise the innings and slowly but surely stitched a resilient unbeaten 130-run stand for the seventh wicket. Jones (92*) took the attacking route, while Dean (42*) stuck her ground as the pair ensured their team sailed through without any further losses.

Jones and Dean's partnership was also the best ever for the seventh wicket in women's ODIs.

Highest Partnership for seventh wicket in Women's ODIs

Player 1Player 2TeamYearPartnership
Charlie DeanAmy JonesEngland2024130*
Sneh RanaPooja VastrakarIndia2022122
Aliya RiazFatima SanaPakistan2023114
Nicola BrowneSarah TsukigawaNew Zealand2007104*
Danielle HazellNat Sciver-BruntEngland2016104

In the post-match press conference, Jones called the knock a high-mark of her career,

"I rate it pretty highly, it was obviously a tricky situation to walk out on," she said.

"And over the last week, I've had some good reflections on the areas I want to improve, in terms of being there at the end. It's something I've been falling short over a period of time, and I put some thought into it.

"Did some work around my mental game. For that to pay off today, it ranks quites highly, I'd say."

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With this win, England have gained crucial points and moved to the third spot in the ICC Women's Championship standings. They have a 1-0 lead in the three-game ODI series.

The second ODI will be played in Hamilton on Wednesday, 3 April.

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