Heather Knight’s England century seals ODI series win over New Zealand

Captain Heather Knight struck a magnificent century in the fourth ODI at Derby, as England overcame New Zealand’s total of 244 with three wickets left – their highest ever successful run chase in one-day internationals – to seal a 3-1 series win with one game left to play.

“We haven’t been at our best as a batting group the last couple of games and I was desperate today to be the one to try and hit a big score for the team,” Knight said.

She labelled her knock of 101 her best innings in 50-over cricket, adding: “It’s a bit of a monkey off my back. I haven’t got another ODI hundred since the first one, in the 2017 World Cup.”

A career-best four for 47 from seamer Hannah Rowe ensured the run chase was not without tension. Rowe’s first spell reduced England from 52 without loss to 71 for three. Lauren Winfield-Hill (33) was bowled by a ball that jagged back off the pitch, while Tammy Beaumont (16) edged behind and Nat Sciver (11) tangled herself up playing around a straight one and was trapped lbw.

Knight shared a century partnership with Amy Jones to calm English nerves, but Rowe struck again in the 38th over – Jones (40) toeing to mid-off with 74 runs still needed. Amy Satterthwaite then trapped Sophia Dunkley lbw for a duck, to leave England 185 for five in the 40th over.

Rowe’s final over, though, cost 13 runs – including a six smashed over the legside by the unflappable Danni Wyatt (27 off 27 balls) – and Knight calmly continued on her way to three figures, bringing up the milestone with a drive through backward point in the 47th over.

The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email.

Both eventually fell in the 49th over, Knight holing out to deep midwicket before Wyatt heaved across the line and was trapped lbw. But Anya Shrubsole walloped Leigh Kasperek down the ground for four before biffing a single – and despite Katey Martin whipping off the bails to stump 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 in the powerplay after Knight won the toss and inserted the visitors. Suzie Bates (17) had sent Shrubsole’s first two balls of the series crashing to the boundary, but in the sixth over she hit the ball to Sciver at midwicket, dashed down the pitch, was sent back and dived too early. The wicketkeeper, Jones, ran Bates out an inch short of her crease.

Sophie Ecclestone (left) and Anya Shrubsole helped England to victory in the final over.
Sophie Ecclestone (left) and Anya Shrubsole helped England to victory in the final over. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters

Shrubsole, who had sat on the sidelines for the first three ODIs after spraining her ankle in training a fortnight ago, then took wickets in successive overs: Tuesday’s heroine Maddy Green gently plonked one into the hands of Freya Davies at mid-on for a duck, before Lauren Down (41) was deceived by a beauty that swung in and straightened to take out her off stump.

Sophie Devine took on Ecclestone, slogging her over deep backward square for six, but was trapped lbw by Charlie Dean (three for 52) nine runs short of her half-century. Devine’s appeal to the third umpire was more in hope in expectation: ball tracking indicated the impact would have been halfway down middle stump.

Half-centuries from Satterthwaite (54) and Martin (65 not out), and some hefty ball striking from Brooke Halliday (28 from 19) at the back end of the innings, though, saw New Zealand recover to 244 for eight.

England’s slip-ups in the field helped them on their way. Ecclestone put down a caught-and-bowled chance against Satterthwaite while she was on 13, while Martin was rapped on the pad by Dean when still in single figures, and was fortunate that England chose not to review it – replays showing that the ball would have gone on to hit leg stump.

“It’s good to contribute to the team – I haven’t done that for such a long period of time, in ODI cricket especially,” Martin said. “To compete regularly against the world champions is such a confidence builder for us.”


Raf Nicholson at the County Ground, Derby

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Tammy Beaumont hits brilliant century as England beat New Zealand in last ODI
Tammy Beaumont hit 102 off 114 balls as England beat New Zealand by 203 runs in the fifth ODI at Kent’s Spitfire St Lawrence Ground to wrap up the series 4-1

Raf Nicholson at The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury

26, Sep, 2021 @4:52 PM

Article image
Sophie Ecclestone seals the deal as England skittle New Zealand in first ODI
Sophie Ecclestone took two wickets in two balls as England overcame a below-par innings of 241 to win by 30 runs

Raf Nicholson at the County Ground, Bristol

16, Sep, 2021 @7:34 PM

Article image
Maddy Green keeps New Zealand in series after England top order falters
New Zealand beat England by three wickets in the third one-day-international at Leicester, but the home side retain a 2-1 series lead

Raf Nicholson at Grace Road

21, Sep, 2021 @7:40 PM

Article image
England breeze into Commonwealth Games semis with rout of New Zealand
England are rolling on through the Commonwealth Games after flattening New Zealand on the way to the semi-finals in a seven-wicket win

Andy Bull at Edgbaston

04, Aug, 2022 @8:17 PM

Article image
New Zealand swat England aside in T20 Commonwealth Games bronze playoff
England’s lost heavily in their Commonwealth Games women’s T20 bronze medal playoff against New Zealand, who triumphed by eight wickets with 49 balls to spare

Andy Bull at Edgbaston

07, Aug, 2022 @1:50 PM

Article image
England wobble but wriggle past New Zealand to stay in World Cup reckoning
England all but eliminated the hosts’ chances of reaching the semi-finals – though not after a thorough scare

Raf Nicholson

20, Mar, 2022 @7:08 AM

Article image
Heather Knight's brilliant century propels England to win over Thailand
England got their Women’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign back on track as Heather Knight delivered a captain’s knock in a 98-run victory

Raf Nicholson at Manuka Oval

26, Feb, 2020 @6:54 AM

Article image
England v New Zealand: third women’s ODI – as it happened
Lea Tahuhu and Maddy Green starred as New Zealand kept the series alive with a nervy three-wicket victory at Leicester

Simon Burnton (earlier) and Rob Smyth (later)

21, Sep, 2021 @7:05 PM

Article image
The Spin | Women’s Cricket World Cup prepares to start after a bodged buildup
Covid, disregard of the climate crisis and a ludicrous rule change have clouded the tournament in New Zealand

Raf Nicholson

02, Mar, 2022 @10:14 AM

Article image
England complete ODI series win over New Zealand with 123-run victory
England women completed a series win over New Zealand at Derby after Tammy Beaumont’s 67 was backed up with three wickets apiece for Sophie Ecclestone and Katie George

Raf Nicholson at Derby

10, Jul, 2018 @6:24 PM