Sports, Cricket

England win final T20 to complete 4-1 series victory

Published : 29 Mar 2024 09:22 PM

England withstood a spirited performance from New Zealand to win the fifth T20 by five wickets and complete a 4-1 series victory.

The visitors were easing towards their target of 137 with Nat Sciver-Brunt and Heather Knight's classy stand of 57. The White Ferns then fought back to dismiss both set batters in the 18th and 19th overs.

But Sophia Dunkley held her nerve, hitting her second ball for four to win with seven balls to spare.

Earlier, the hosts slipped to 31-4 and 69-5 after choosing to bat first, but Izzy Gaze's unbeaten 51 from 28 balls led a recovery to 136-6.

Sciver-Brunt triggered the top order collapse in a hostile and disciplined opening spell with Lauren Filer, who went wicketless but troubled the inexperienced line-up with her pace and bounce. Opener Bernadine Bezuidenhout was caught behind off Sciver-Brunt in the first over, star all-rounder Amelia Kerr fell for five in the third before spinner Charlie Dean dismissed Suzie Bates for 11 to complete England's dominant powerplay. Spinner Sophie Ecclestone then ripped through the middle order with 3-30 but Gaze, 19, added 56 for the sixth wicket with Brooke Halliday and reached her maiden international half-century with a reverse-sweep for four from the final ball of the innings.

The game was in the balance with England 65-3 at the halfway mark on a surface favouring the bowlers, but captain Knight's 35 and Sciver-Brunt's 31 broke the back of the chase and Dunkley calmly scored the five remaining runs following the skipper's dismissal.

The white-ball series continues with three one-day internationals, starting on Sunday 31 March at the same venue.