Ecclestone stars as England bounce back to beat NZ

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Women’s T20 tri-series, Taunton:
England 172-8 (20 overs): Sciver 59, Beaumont 23, Kasperek 3-35
New Zealand 118 (18.3 overs): Bates 23, Green 23, Ecclestone 4-18
England won by 54 runs

England bounced back from defeat by South Africa with a 54-run win over New Zealand in their second women’s Twenty20 international of the day.

Natalie Sciver’s entertaining 59 helped the home side post 172-8 at Taunton.

New Zealand were well placed on 77-3 but lost their last seven wickets for 41 runs as teenage spinner Sophie Ecclestone captured a career-best 4-18.

England now lead the tri-series group with four points, with one round of games left to play on Thursday.

On that day, at Bristol, it will be New Zealand’s turn to play twice in a day – taking on South Africa (13;00 BST) and then England (17:40), with the top two teams meeting in the final at Chelmsford on 1 July.

Ecclestone helps England spin to win

Sophie Ecclestone

Often reliant on their new-ball pairing of Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole, it was England’s spinners who made the difference against the Kiwis.

With New Zealand needing 173 to inflict England’s second defeat of the day, left-arm seamer Tash Farrant made the important early breakthrough when the big-hitting Sophie Devine holed out in the second over.

And after captain Suzie Bates – who had added 182 with Devine for the first wicket against South Africa on Wednesday – was trapped lbw by Brunt, it was not only the cue for a triumphant roar from the Yorkshire pace bowler, but also for England to put the squeeze on the middle order.

Ecclestone, who only turned 19 last month, strangled Katey Martin by bowling a maiden over in the powerplay, before returning to shatter the Kiwi keeper’s stumps as she heaved across the line.

With New Zealand’s faint chances ebbing away, Ecclestone then induced more self-destructive batting as she had Leigh Kasperek stumped and Anna Peterson caught in the deep in the space of three deliveries.

Captain Heather Knight (2-17) also struck gold with her bowling changes, introducing her own part-time off-spin to snare the dangerous left-hander Amy Satterthwaite with a return catch with the second ball she bowled, while Sciver’s first ball brought the wicket of the record-breaking Amelia Kerr.

More to follow.

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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