Freya Davies' four, Tammy Beaumont-Heather Knight partnership help England seal T20I series

S Sudarshanan
New Update
Freya Davies' four, Tammy Beaumont-Heather Knight partnership help England seal T20I series

Freya Davies (l), Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont. © Getty Images / Women's CricZone

Tammy Beaumont has two versions. Or it so appears. One, who struggles to time the ball and gets stuck in the middle, despite being in for a long enough time – like we saw in the first T20I or the one who played the final ODI against New Zealand on Sunday (February 28). And the second, who out-bats the opposition, like she did in the first two ODIs, much like she did on Friday (March 5).

Beaumont’s half century, her eighth in T20Is, yet again helped England cruise to the 124-run target that New Zealand had set them at the Westpac Stadium, thanks to another batting crumble for the hosts.

Unlike the first game, Beaumont got going pretty early on Friday, nailing a sweep off Leigh Kasperek’s first ball for a boundary. That was enough to tell the viewers, to New Zealand’s dismay, that it was going to tough to dislodge the diminutive right-hander. She then proceeded to hit a couple of fours off Sophie Devine in the fourth over of the power play. By the end of the fielding restrictions, Beaumont had raced to 30 off 25 balls, with England comfortably placed at 43 for two.

Danielle Wyatt, who looked the fluent of the two in the first T20I, seemed to pick from where she’d left then. She despatched a length ball from Rosemary Mair over the point boundary for half a dozen. But on the very next ball, she was castled by the one that jagged back in, dismissing her for nine off just six balls. An over later, New Zealand’s glee only rose, as Natalie Sciver (zero) attempted to scoop one and only managed to glove it to Katey Martin.

But that was all that the hosts could enjoy, for Beaumont, in company of skipper Heather Knight, pummelled the Kiwi bowlers to all parts of the ground. The opening batter was the aggressive one, smashing a huge six over deep mid-wicket off Jess Kerr, after hitting a four earlier in the over. A push through mid-wicket off Amelia Kerr on the 39th balls she faced, helped Beaumont get to her fifty.

Her 83-run partnership with Knight ended when she miscued one off Leigh Kasperek to mid-off, to walk back for 63. Knight then took England to the doorstep of a win, before departing for 39. It was a cruise, indeed, for England, who romped home by six wickets.

New Zealand’s reliance on Sophie Devine to provide them a flying start is no secret. However, the captain’s forgettable series continued after she was done in by a Sophie Ecclestone full toss – the dip deceived her and she was trapped LBW for just eight. The hosts’ opening woes are double-ended; Hayley Jensen’s second successive failure – she made 12 off 16 balls – at that position in T20Is, apart from her lack of runs in the last two ODIs, meant that the hosts were two down early in the piece.

At two for 28, Amy Satterthwaite and Amelia joined forces. The pair was successful in keeping the English attack at bay, regularly finding the gaps, running well between the wickets and sending the ball to the ropes. Satterthwaite and Kerr never let the spinners really settle, taking Mady Villiers for 15 in her only over, while also disrupting Sarah Glenn’s rhythm. Like they did in the final ODI, the duo added over fifty together and life looked comfortable for New Zealand.

ALSO READ: Passion, perseverance and tireless work ethic fuel Prathyusha’s India dreams

But their alliance finally came to an end when Glenn got Amelia stumped for 25. A couple of balls later, Martin, too, wandered down the track to get stumped. Meanwhile, Satterthwaite looked good in the middle, middling the cut shots and adding more grace to each drive she played. She had raced to 49 off just 29 balls and looked set to raise what would have been just her second T20I fifty, before being undone by a cross-seamed delivery by Freya Davies that swung in. Satterthwaite was bowled.

That was the last of the resistance that the hosts offered as a collapse then saw them finish on, as Satterthwaite admitted at the halfway stage, “an under-par” 123 for nine. Brooke Halliday stayed unbeaten on 16. For England, Davies registered her T20I best of four wickets for 23 runs while each of Sciver and Glenn picked two apiece.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 123/9 in 20 overs (Amy Satterthwaite 49, Amelia Kerr 25; Freya Davies 4/23) lost to England 124/4 in 17.2 overs (Tammy Beaumont 63, Heather Knight 39; Rosemary Mair 2/22) by six wickets. POTM: Freya Davies