New Zealand were on course for a comfortable victory with Brooke Halliday and Sophie Devine in the middle, needing 87 runs from 26 overs when rain interrupted. After the rain break, the revised target was 183 from 42 overs. Natalie Sciver and Sophie Ecclestone started from either ends, tightening the screws. England vice-captain cleaned up Devine with an inswinger, bringing back the hosts into the game. Dean sent Katey Martin packing in the very next over. From 111 for four, they went to 135 for seven.
Halliday tried to keep the chase alive for the tourists along with Leigh Kasperek. They needed 47 runs in the last ten overs with three wickets in hand. The southpaw tonked Ecclestone against the spin over covers for a boundary. However, Dean deceived Halliday in the flight and got her stumped for 29 from 42 balls. The allrounder got her fourth, trapping Kasperek on the pads.
Heather Knight brought back Natasha Farrant, and she delivered with the wicket of Tahuhu. New Zealand were all out for 169, falling short by 13 runs (via DLS method). Dean was the star with the ball, taking four wickets for 36 runs.
Chasing a sub-par total, Suzie Bates and Lauren Down started well for New Zealand, especially the former, who hit a few breezy boundaries early in the innings. She took a particular liking for Sciver, smashing four of her five boundaries off the allrounder. Kate Cross provided England with the first breakthrough as Bates hit one straight to the cover fielder, scoring 28 runs from 33 balls.
Though Down and Maddy Green tried to build a partnership, they could only add 23 runs for the second wicket before Ecclestone dismissed the latter for an 18-ball nine. Cross trapped Down on her pads a couple of balls later, reducing New Zealand to 64 for three.
The onus was on Amy Satterthwaite and Devine to take the chase forward. However, Cross was bowling beautifully at the other end, and Satterthwaite struggled to rotate the strike. She eventually got to the seamer for one run from 15 balls. Halliday joined Devine at number six.
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Trying to ease the youngster into the innings, the skipper punched Ecclestone through the covers and swept Charlotte Dean twice, on either side of deep midwicket for boundaries. Halliday, too, joined the party as she cut the former through point and clobbered Dean down the ground. After 24 overs, they were going strong at 111 for four, ten runs ahead per the DLS method, when rain stopped play.
Earlier, asked to bat by New Zealand in overcast conditions, England got off to a good start as Tammy Beaumont smashed three boundaries off Devine in the second over. She covered the line and drove a fuller-length outswinger and followed it up with a flick through the square-leg region as Devine erred on her line. The third was a juicy full-toss that Beaumont guided through off-side with ease.
However, it was not over yet. It seemed like Beaumont was dominating Devine, who had planned the perfect set-up to dismiss the in-form England opener. After five outswingers, Devine swung the ball back in, but Beaumont did not anticipate it as she shouldered arms and saw the ball hit the stumps.
Joined by skipper Knight, Lauren Winfield-Hill took some time to settle in. The duo ensured that England did not lose any wickets in the power play. At the same time, they kept the scorecard moving with singles and doubles. They looked set for a solid partnership, but Hannah Rowe had other ideas.
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She started with an outswinger, a bit wide, on good-length, and Knight reached out with her hands edging one to the wicket-keeper. Sciver did not last long, chipping the first delivery off Rowe's next over to Green at extra-cover.
Sensing an opportunity, Devine brought herself back to bowl and struck immediately. Jones followed her skipper and vice-captain back to the dressing room as she flicked Devine to Halliday. Sophia Dunkley tried to get her eye in before going after New Zealand bowlers. However, it did not work. She, too, hit one to the mid-wicket fielder, this time off Lea Tahuhu.
Through this phase, Winfield-Hill was stuck at one end, seldom getting a chance to bat. In the ten overs since the power play, England lost four wickets for 26 runs. The England opener, who was batting on 21 from 33 balls at the start of the eleventh over, got to face only 17 of the next 60 deliveries, scoring ten runs from them. England were down to 85 for five.
Walking in at number seven, Wyatt did not waste any time to keep the innings going. With Winfield-Hill, she added 31 runs from 46 balls before a poor mix-up in the running between the wickets led to the dismissal of Winfield-Hill, who scored 39 runs from 66 balls. Dean, Ecclestone and Cross got out in quick succession - thanks to Rowe and Leigh Kasperek - as England slumped further to 146 for nine with almost 15 overs to play.
Farrant joined Wyatt in the middle and started with a couple of boundaries off Kasperek. She held fort at one end as the latter took the attack to the bowlers. From 37 off 54 balls, Wyatt raced to 57 from 66 deliveries, bringing up her second ODI half-century in 78 matches. Farrant eventually got out for 24 from 31 balls, and England were all out for 197 in 43.3 overs. Wyatt finished with an unbeaten 63 off 72 balls, with Rowe and Kasperek taking three wickets each.
Brief Scores: England 197/10 in 43.3 overs (Danielle Wyatt 63; Leigh Kasperek 3/31) beat New Zealand 169/10 in 39 overs (Brooke Halliday 29, Charlotte Dean 4/36) by 13 runs (via DLS method). POTM: Danielle Wyatt