Heather Knight hit a magnificent century in the fourth ODI at Derby, as England defeated New Zealand’s 244 total with three wickets remaining – their most successful chase ever in an international one-hour championship. matchday – to seal a 3-1 series victory with one game to go.
A career best four for 47 from crimper Hannah Rowe ensured the pursuit was not without nerves. Rowe’s first six-over spell reduced England from 52 unbeaten to 71 for three. Lauren Winfield-Hill (33) was knocked down by a ball that fell back from the field, while Tammy Beaumont (16) slipped behind and Nat Sciver (11) got tangled while playing around a straight ball and was trapped lbw.
England captain Knight (101) shared a century-old partnership with Amy Jones to calm English nerves but Rowe then struck again in 38th place – Jones (40) being halfway through with 74 points still needed. Amy Satterthwaite then trapped Sophia Dunkley lbw for a duck, to leave England 185 for 5 in the 40th.
Rowe’s final, however, cost 13 points – including six crushed to the side of the legs by the unfazed Danni Wyatt – to get England back on track. Knight finally brought in three figures with a drive through back point in the 47th.
But Knight sank into the deep midwicket in the 49th, and three balls later, Sophie Devine also saw Wyatt (27 of 27 balls) who crossed the line and was trapped lbw.
However, Anya Shrubsole knocked down Leigh Kasperek to the ground, for four before making just one – and despite Katey Martin whipping up the deposits to crush Sophie Ecclestone, Kasperek’s delivery was wide, sealing the deal with three balls to spare.
Earlier, New Zealand had been reduced to 33 for three on the power play after Knight won the toss and inserted the visitors. Suzie Bates (17) had sent the first two Shrubsole balls of the series crashing to the limit, but in the sixth she hit Sciver in the middle of the wicket, rushed into the field, was thrown back and was dived too early. Wicket keeper Jones pulled Bates out an inch from his crease.
Shrubsole, who had sat on the sidelines during the first three ODIs after spraining her ankle in training a fortnight ago, then took the wickets successively: Tuesday’s heroine, Maddy Green, has some gently planted one in Freya Davies’ hands halfway for a duck, before Lauren Down (41) was tricked by a beauty who rolled over and straightened up to pull her out of the stump.
Devine faced Ecclestone, hitting her on a deep square back for six, but was trapped by Charlie Dean nine points short of her half-century. Devine’s call to the third referee was more optimistic than expected: the tracking of the ball indicated that the impact would have been halfway up the center stump.
Half centuries of Satterthwaite (54) and Martin (65 not eliminated), and a few big shots from Brooke Halliday (28v19) at the end of the innings, however, helped New Zealand recover to 244 for eight. .
The two fifty makers were the beneficiaries of England’s first dropouts and made the hosts pay, sharing an 84-year partnership. With Satterthwaite on 13, Ecclestone fell trying a hard-to-catch-and-play chance that vanished into his hands. Martin was punched on the pad by Dean while still in single digits, and was fortunate enough that England chose not to see him again – reruns showed the bullet hit the stump of the leg .
Dean, who returned three for 52, eventually knocked Satterthwaite around his legs in the 39th and – after being crushed on his head for six by Halliday – saw the southpaw in the 45th, inducing a leading edge to Sciver at blanket. Davies then stepped in with a few quick wickets to the death, bowling Hayley Jensen and Rowe, and although Martin – whose half-century was his first since March 2017 – remained defiant until the end, the neo-total Zeeland proved insufficient.