England women 290 for 5 (Jones 63, Knight 63) beat New Zealand women 148 (Sciver 3-18, Marsh 3-24) by 142 runs
Amid cheers for England’s two goals that went in against Sweden, England’s women took the opening one-day international against New Zealand with a commanding 142-run victory at Headingley.
New Zealand made a promising start to the chase, but not for the first time on this tour there was no support for Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine. When the opening stand was broken – and with the attention of many in the stands elsewhere – New Zealand lost 4 for 5 in 17 balls against Georgia Elwiss and Nat Sciver.
After Knight opted to bat, England’s openers produced the ideal start as Jones and Tammy Beaumont added 111 in 22.3 overs. The only time New Zealand really had any hold on the game was while Amelia Kerr was producing an impressive 10-over spell which included the wickets of Jones, defeated by an excellent googly, and Taylor.
However, Knight and Sciver ensured the innings didn’t lose its way. They initially consolidated while Kerr completed her spell and then pressed the accelerator with around 15 overs to go. Sciver was just starting to go through the gears – and her full range of shots – when she was pinned lbw by a sharp yorker for Lea Tahuhu.
Knight went to her fifty off 49 balls with consecutive boundaries off Tahuhu, the first a strong lofted drive down the ground, and collection two further boundaries before falling in the 48th over to end a stand of 54 in seven overs with Katherine Brunt. It left New Zealand needing their highest successful chase in ODIs.
There was some swing with the new ball for Brunt and debutant Katie George, but Bates and Devine were able to move along at five-an-over to lay a hopeful platform. Devine was given a life when Sciver dropped a simple chance at midwicket (although she was alert enough to nearly run out Bates at the non-striker’s end) and it was just getting to the stage where England were twitchy for a breakthrough.
Elwiss did the trick when Devine was caught attempted to go over the top and the wheels quickly came off New Zealand’s innings. Sciver recovered from the dropped catch to claim two wickets in her first over – including the key scalp of Bates – and when Elwiss trapped Amy Satterthwaite lbw the score had gone from 70 without loss to 75 for 4.
From there England’s win was inevitable. There was considerable turn on offer and Laura Marsh ran through the lower order to finish with 3 for 24. Shortly after the final whistle went in Russia, the supporters who had been huddled inside around televisions made their way back into the stands to see another England victory secured when George claimed he maiden ODI wicket to finish the match.