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Bouchier, Capsey and Dean see England through in the wet

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Published in Cricket
Tuesday, 09 July 2024 15:06

England 89 for 6 (Capsey 28, Bouchier 23) beat New Zealand 42 for 5 (Halliday 14, Dean 2-3) by 23 runs (DLS method)

Alice Capsey and Maia Bouchier lifted England to an impressive total which proved more than enough when Charlie Dean ripped into a struggling New Zealand line-up to seal victory in a rain-affected second T20I in Hove.

Persistent rain delayed the start by two hours and cut the match to nine overs per side. Capsey's 28 off 15 balls and Bouchier's 23 off 15 set England up for a total of 89 for 6, then Dean took 2 for 3 in a single over as New Zealand crumbled to 42 for 5 in 6.4 overs before the rain returned to end the match even more prematurely than expected, the hosts taking a 2-0 lead in the five-match series which moves to Canterbury on Thursday.

New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first. They made two changes to the side which lost the opening match at Southampton on Saturday by 59 runs, bringing in seamer Hannah Rowe and offspinner Leigh Kasperek for Fran Jonas and Eden Carson. England, meanwhile, brought back Lauren Bell - rested after her five-wicket haul in the third and final ODI - and called up Dani Gibson to replace Freya Kemp and Linsey Smith.

Dry, not dull

Hove's enviable drainage - and hardworking ground staff - ultimately delivered a playing surface that was sufficiently dry. But, at nine overs per side, the match promised not to be. Although there were no big individual scores, Capsey and Bouchier found, and cleared, the boundary with finesse while Heather Knight struck three fours in her 14-ball cameo of 15 and Sophie Ecclestone hammered a six off the only ball she faced to end the England innings in the best possible way.

It took four legitimate deliveries for Bouchier to get off the mark but to do so she despatched a shorter ball from Jess Kerr over backward square leg and into the stands and she followed up with four through midwicket off Rowe's first delivery. When Danni Wyatt fell for a third-ball duck, Capsey arrived and helped herself to back-to-back fours off Sophie Devine, a lap through fine leg and a glance through third. Bouchier overcame a knock to the grille via an edge onto her own glove attempting a reverse off Lea Tahuhu to find the boundary twice more but her attempt at a third in a row went awry when she holed out to Maddy Green at long-on.

Georgia Plimmer put down a straightforward chance off Jess Kerr running in from deep square leg when Nat Sciver-Brunt was on 3 and Sciver-Brunt looked to capitalise when she swung Tahuhu into the grounds of the flats which sit beyond the fence at deep midwicket. She survived a review for caught behind next ball but fell moments later as Tahuhu pegged back middle stump. Capsey, who had smashed a six off Jess Kerr over wide mid-off, welcomed Kasperek back to T20Is for the first time in a year by launching her third ball over midwicket and into a hospitality tent, but fell next ball, caught by Jess Kerr at short third.

Amelia Kerr grabbed two wickets in three balls with a return catch to remove Knight and tempting Gibson down the pitch and beating the bat as Izzy Gaze whipped off the bails. That left Ecclestone one ball to face and she muscled it into the stands over long-on.

Dean defeats damp squib

Devine promised the most in terms of fireworks and walked out to open with Suzie Bates, but she fell for just 9 spooning Lauren Bell tamely to Capsey at mid-on. Then Amelia Kerr picked out Capsey at midwicket off Sciver-Brunt and England had two prize wickets inside the three-over powerplay. Sciver-Brunt fell to the ground, rolled over and stayed there, waiting for it to swallow her up after she parried a Brooke Halliday slog over the rope for six. But Dean managed to remove Halliday in the next over, pinned lbw for 14 and New Zealand were 28 for 3 needing 62 off 29 balls.

Sarah Glenn held an excellent catch diving forward from short third to remove New Zealand's remaining big hope, Bates for just 4, giving Dean her second wicket in the space of five balls and, after Jess Kerr picked out Knight at extra cover to give Ecclestone her first, the rain returned. The players left the field with 2.2 overs remaining and the rain set in, with handshakes exchanged a short time later, the weather deciding the result in the end on the DLS method and Dean walking away with impressive figures of 1-0-3-2.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women's cricket, at ESPNcricinfo

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