The New Zealand WHITE FERNS, 168 all out in 50 overs (Satterthwaite 27; Cross 5-24, Grundy 3-36) lost to England, 169/1 in 32.1 overs (Edwards 64*, Taylor 89*) by nine wickets at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln
Two top order veterans and Kate Cross’s maiden five-for saw England level the ODI Series 2-2, a nine-wicket victory today against the New Zealand WHITE FERNS setting up the decider on Saturday.
The day started badly for the Ferns when captain Suzie Bates lost the toss for the sixth time in seven matches, sent in on an overcast morning at Lincoln.
From there, it was almost an action replay of their Twenty20 loss on the same ground two days ago, as the Ferns struggled to sustain a meaningful partnership.
England’s Jenny Gunn proved herself a gun fielder as she pocketed four masterly catches, her opening gambit a mad leap at mid-off to pluck a well-hit drive out of the air and claim Bates for just seven runs.
Bates’ wicket was also the first of a maiden ODI five-wicket bag for opening bowler Kate Cross — who clean-bowled dangerwoman Rachel Priest in her next over as Priest misjudged her pace.
England then had to overcome a promising 54-run third wicket stand between Amy Satterthwaite and Kate Broadmore — the latter surviving a testy run out appeal when she left her ground at the conclusion of the 14th over. The square leg umpire had not heard ‘over’ called, and raised the finger after England broke the stumps. England’s jubilation turned to disbelief, however, when the decision was reversed following a conference between the two umpires.
Just when Broadmore and Satterthwaite were looking likely, Gunn struck again with a brilliant dive at long-on to catch Satterthwaite (27) just inches inside the rope, a grateful Rebecca Grundy (3-36) opening her first spell with a wicket maiden as a result. Grundy then trapped Broadmore in her next over, putting the Ferns firmly back under pressure at 71/4 after 24 overs.
So, as in the previous Twenty20, in-form Sophie Devine found herself carrying all the weight of the rebuild through the middle, quickly forced into the muted role as batting partners came and went in quick succession.
When Devine herself was caught after skying one to Gunn, it sealed a career best performance for Cross in her last over. She finished with 5-24 as the White Ferns reeled at 99/8.
With 17 overs still to go, the kitchen staff raced to put lunch on early — but the tail of Lea Tahuhu, Morna Nielsen and debutante Hannah Rowe wagged to put on 64 valuable runs, with some fearless hitting before Nielsen holed out to Gunn on the last ball of the 50th over, the Ferns dismissed for 168.
Six foot tall, 18-year-old number eleven Rowe made an impressive debut, finding three boundaries in her unbeaten 18 — including a gorgeous lofted drive straight back over Heather Knight’s head.
But Rowe was not allowed to make the same impact with the ball at first change, as the vastly experience England top order quickly got away on the Ferns.
The sole breakthrough was removing Knight caught behind in the third over, off pace bowler Lea Tahuhu, to have England 11/1. But Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor, 362 ODI caps between them, took control as the sun broke through and the pitch flattened. They brought up their half-centuries (and with them, their 100 partnership) within an over of each other, the 14th fifty for Taylor and 45th for Edwards.
Cruising, Taylor pummelled four consecutive boundaries off Rowe as they then put on the gas and raced to the finish line, the partnership hitting the 150 mark when there were just four more runs required for the win. Taylor (89*) duly clipped a final single to midwicket to formalise the nine-wicket caning, with over 17 overs to spare, having batted for 30 overs with her skipper for their unbroken second wicket partnership.
The ODI decider and final match of the unpredictable tour starts at 10.30am at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln, this Saturday.