All-round Devine propels New Zealand to a series-levelling win

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Hove (England), Sep 5 (IANS) New Zealand captain Sophie Devine made her 100th T20I appearance memorable with an all-round performance to secure a four-wicket win against England at Hove. New Zealand’s win in the second T20I means the series is levelled at 1-1. Sophie first claimed 2/28 from four overs before smashing a half-century off 41 balls to lead a successful chase of 128.

Asked to bat first, England were dealt an early blow as Tammy Beaumont (13) was bowled by Jess Kerr. Sophie dismissed Nat Sciver (4) and Amy Jones (0) off consecutive balls to leave England in trouble at 25/3 in five overs.

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Sophie Dunkley threatened to turn the tide but her run-a-ball 21 knock was ended by Leight Kasperek in the 10th over. England got to recover briefly through a 44-run partnership off 37 balls between Danielle Wyatt and debutant Maia Bouchier. The pair took England past the 100-run mark. Bouchier fetched three boundaries in her 24-ball 25 and looked confident with her stroke-play on debut.

But New Zealand hit back with Hannah Rowe taking out both Danielle and Maia one delivery apart in the 16th over, snapping England’s plans for a late flourish in death overs. With 21 runs coming in the last four overs, England finished at just 127/7 in 20 overs.

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In the chase of 128, Sophie started off with a six off Freya Davies over deep mid-wicket. Though she lost Suzie Bates via run-out at the end of the fifth over, Sophie continued to be impressive. The 32-year-old hit three more sixes and a couple of boundaries to lead New Zealand’s charge in the chase and shared a 37-run stand with Amy Satterthwaite (11).

Dropped at 25, Sophie went on to raise her half-century off 39 deliveries with a boundary over long-off. Though she fell to Tash Farrant in the very next over, New Zealand were rather comfortably placed in the chase with 100 on the board already.

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Though England managed to give a scare by dismissing Maddy Green (21), Brooke Halliday (3) and Hayley Jensen (7), New Zealand chased 128 with 10 balls to spare.

With the series now level at 1-1, the final match of the series will take place at Taunton on September 9.

Brief scores: England Women 127/7 in 20 overs (Danielle Wyatt 35, Maia Bouchier 25; Sophie Devine 2/28, Leigh Kasperek 2/20) lost to New Zealand Women 128/6 in 18.2 overs (Sophie Devine 50, Maddy Green 21; Tash Farrant 2/32, Mady Villiers 1/8) by four wickets.

–IANS

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