Despite leading the ODI Series against England Women 2-1, a switch to Twenty20 International cricket today brought a shock result for the White Ferns as they were dismissed for their lowest T20i score en route to an eight-wicket loss.
The Ferns simply didn’t hit their mark today in Whangarei with the exactitude required in Twenty20s, coach Hamish Barton said afterwards.
“The transition from 50-over cricket going into T20i was always going to be a focus point for the batters, but we didn’t make the right decisions or execute our shots with the accuracy required today. We just got ourselves into a hole, and then couldn’t get ourselves out.”
Listen to Hamish Barton's review
The day had started well with captain Suzie Bates winning her first toss of the Series on a sun-baked Cobham Oval pitch with no demons.
But after jumping at the chance to bat, it rapidly went haywire for the Ferns, Bates dismissed in the opening over by England player of the match Heather Knight who spun her way to 3-10 off her four overs.
Calamity ensued, five wickets falling inside the first six overs and Erin Bermingham top scoring with just 20 after gritting her way through the back of the innings as cheap wickets continued to tumble around her.
For England, a highlight was Lydia Greenway’s stunning leap just inside the midwicket boundary rope to pluck the ball out of the air one-handed, Greenway then throwing the ball up again as she crossed over the rope before calmly reclaiming it for a show-stopping catch. Sophie Devine was the unfortunate victim of her brilliance, after having thought she had swept Heather Knight for a much-needed six.
The Ferns’ tally of 60 in 19.4 overs was their lowest, pushing their 69 against Australia in Sydney in the 2011/12 season into second place in the stats list. But despite a gift of a target, England got off to a jittery start themselves.
Lauren Winfield skied a catch off Bermingham and Sarah Taylor fell to a feathered caught behind off young Georgia Guy, who came into the side for Anna Peterson after the ODIs, to have England 35/2 in the ninth. But veteran captain Charlotte Edwards remained in firm control at the helm, steering the visitors to an eight-wicket win in just the 12th over.
The two sides meet again at 11am at the same venue tomorrow (Friday), in the second game of the three-match Twenty20 International Series. Admission is free.