Women Cricket: Devine century delivers NZ consolation win

Women Cricket: Devine century delivers NZ consolation win


Jess Kerr and Hannah Rowe took three wickets apiece as England folded for 194

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HAMILTON (Web Desk) - Twelve runs needed for victory, 12 runs needed to reach a century, all the time in the world, but why wait? In the space of three balls, Sophie Devine twice hauled Charlie Dean over the fence at deep midwicket to seal a breath-taking ton and an emphatic consolation win for New Zealand in Hamilton in their final match of the ODI series, which England won 2-1.

Devine came to the crease with her side 14 for 2 and smashed a 93-ball century to reel in a target of 195 with 11 overs to spare. She was well supported by Maddy Green, with whom she shared an unbroken partnership worth 105, and Amelia Kerr, who scored 29 of her 31 runs in a 76-run stand with her captain.

There was no sign of the quad strain that had kept Devine out of action since the fourth T20I in her impeccable footwork as she took to England's attack - particularly offspinner Dean and quick Lauren Filer - in a typically powerful innings which underlined her importance to the White Ferns, just as they looked in danger of squandering a golden opportunity to beat England.

The visitors were bowled out inside 50 overs for the second match in a row, seamers Jess Kerr and Hannah Rowe taking three wickets each to restrict them to 194 with 3.3 overs to spare. Yet again England had to lean on Player of the Series Amy Jones, whose scores of 92 not out, 48 and 50 lifted her side after middle-order collapses throughout. On this occasion, she reached a run-a-ball half-century and shared a 73-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Dean, the pair having put on a record 130-run stand in the previous match. But this time it wasn't enough to combat what was to come from Devine.

Kate Cross struck in the third over of the run-chase as Georgia Plimmer - opening for Bernadine Bezuidenhout, who injured her hamstring while fielding in the second ODI - chased one outside off stump and edged to wicketkeeper Jones. Then Suzie Bates sent a leading edge straight to Maia Bouchier at midwicket attempting to turn Nat Sciver-Brunt squarer to the leg side.

At the end of the powerplay, the hosts were 31 for 2 as Devine and Amelia Kerr settled into the early stages of their partnership. Devine was on 13 when she sent a sharp, difficult chance off Filer through the hands of Heather Knight at slip. Devine clubbed Dean over deep midwicket for twin sixes in three balls and brought up her fifty over the course of four fours in five balls off Dean's next over.

In between, Sophie Ecclestone pulled up with what appeared to be a calf problem at the start of her seventh over, but she broke the stand when she trapped Amelia Kerr lbw before leaving the field to seek treatment. Ecclestone returned to action and saw Jones fumble a stumping chance off Green with New Zealand needing 43 runs off 88 balls.

Filer, who replaced fellow seamer Lauren Bell in the XI to play the fourth ODI of her fledgling international career, conceded 17 runs off her sixth over, 12 of those in fours clubbed down the ground by Devine. With 12 needed, Devine cleared the deep midwicket fence by some distance off Dean to move within one identical strike of a century and she repeated the effort two balls later.

Earlier, Rowe struck in her second over, the fourth of the match, when she struck Tammy Beaumont on the back thigh with a ball that was on track to ping the top of leg stump and Jess Kerr had Maia Bouchier caught by Georgia Plimmer at extra cover with a leg-cutter for 19.

After 10 overs, England were 50 for 2 but they lost 4 for 13 in 34 balls after Sciver-Brunt and Knight put on 58 runs together for the third wicket. Amelia Kerr got a hand to a difficult chance but couldn't cling onto a ball driven straight back at her by Sciver-Brunt, on 15 at the time. She did, however, ultimately remove Sciver-Brunt for 27, caught by Fran Jonas.

Sophia Dunkley, who lost her place in the line-up after the five T20Is where she only reached double figures once, with a score of 32, in four innings, returned to the side after Alice Capsey sprained her ankle during training on Saturday. But Dunkley managed just 1 off the five balls she faced before playing down the wrong line to a Jess Kerr delivery which angled back in and hit the top of middle stump.

Kerr grabbed her second, hitting Danni Wyatt low on the front pad with a full toss and England were 88 for 5.

Jones had another big job to do to rescue her side and she would again need Dean's help after calling Knight through for a single and seeing her captain run out on 31 as Kerr fired the ball in from square leg to wicketkeeper Izzy Gaze to make it 95 for 6.

New Zealand looked in danger of letting England off the hook, just as they did in the first two fixtures of this series, when Gaze missed a stumping opportunity as Jones, on 18, advanced out of her crease and swung herself around attempting to loft a Jonas delivery over the leg side. At that point, England were 111 for 6 and when Dean overturned an lbw decision off Bates, the ball shown to be missing the top of leg stump, she and Jones were free to press on with the union their side so desperately needed.

Jones brought up her fifty with a crisp single off Kerr but she fell moments later chipping Bates straight to Eden Carson at backward point, ending her stand with Dean, who departed a short time later when she picked out Brooke Halliday at cover off Rowe. Rowe claimed her third with a short ball which Cross edged behind down the leg side.