And that’s it from me! A 4-1 series win for England, and another step forward for the women’s game after a dismal Covid summer in 2020. New Zealand can go home with heads held high - it isn’t a result that flatters them. Lots to dwell on and lots to improve, but finally: would a famous male comedian have said this when I was a little girl? Not a chance! Thanks Chris, and most importantly, thanks England and New Zealand.
Player of the Series: Heather Knight
“Today was a sign of how good we can be. We’ve had a quiet series batting first but today was a sign of how good we can be , the talent we’ve got, we just want to do it more consistently.”
"One of those games you just flush down the dunny."
Sophie Devine: “One to forget about. There are some positives, we could have been going into this series 4-1 up, it was a lot more competitive for us than our last tour here which is pleasing. There’s some serious competition for places which holds us in good stead going into the World Cup.”
Player of the match: Tammy Beaumont
She gets a huge cheer from her home crowd at Canterbury. “At times our batting unit has fallen a bit short this series so to go out with a bang is good going. It felt really good, I thought the New Zealand plans to me all series have been really good but once I started clicking...our bowling attack has been exceptional for a long time now, “
The PCA Royal London ODI player of the summer is Heather Knight!
“Those wickets probably weren’t ones for the highlights package. I felt a bit scrappy early on the summer but worked really hard, made a few big match-winning contributions. We’re in a pretty good place looking at the summer ahead with the Ashes and the World Cup and we’re desperate to win both. Adapting to different situations is what my role in the team is.”
And with that absolute thrashing, England conclude what has been a marathon summer. Chock-a-block with fixtures, boosted by the big-game experience that the Hundred gave women’s cricket, rocket-fuelled by some new names like Sophia Dunkley and Charlie Dean and including a gripping Test with India. I’ll stop waffling now as they’re doing the presentations.
I didn’t have time to post this:
or this! (which is a great idea)
WICKET! Tahuhu c Wingfield-Hill b Dean 1 (New Zealand 144 all out) England win by 203 runs! flighted long on
A gung-ho hoick, and Dean deservedly pockets a first wicket of the day. And that, with something of a whimper, is the end of the international summer.
35th over: New Zealand 144-9 (Tahuhu 1, Penfold 0) A terrible over brings two wickets and a bashful smile to Knight’s face.
WICKET! Rowe lbw Knight 20 (New Zealand 144-9)
Rowe tries a sweep. Misses. And a low full toss hits her plonk on the pad.
WICKET! Halliday c Beaumont b Knight 27 (New Zealand 142-8)
Knight hides her face in her hands after a agricultural ball produces an agricultural shot which Beaumont takes with both hands above her head.
34th over: New Zealand 141-7 (Rowe 19, Halliday 27) Found it! One from the over, and that’s drinks!
33rd over: New Zealand 140-7 (Rowe 18, Halliday 27) Knight most unusually giving herself a good old go. A thick wristband on her wrist, she trundles in. They pick up a couple of singles and excuse me while I Just have a desperate search for a computer charger, on 3 per cent right now.
32nd over: New Zealand 138-7 (Rowe 17, Halliday 26) Dean, smartly tucked in to please the school rules, sunglasses on, skips through another over.
31st over: New Zealand 134-7 (Rowe 16, Halliday 24)Knight, shirt untucked, turns in another over of her ... turners. She has been known to call is filth. Rowe buckets her for two consecutive fours.
30th over: New Zealand 126-7 (Rowe 8, Halliday 24)Very nicely done by Green, a near stumping, as Halliday goes for a holiday shot, but her toes is just over the line.
29th over: New Zealand 123-7 (Rowe 6, Halliday 23) New Zealand are able to lay the knives and forks but not the fancy tablecloth.
28th over: New Zealand 117-7 (Rowe 3, Halliday 21) From the pavilion end, Rowe spins in: England revelling in their three spinners, while New Zealand languished with half.
This is so true. And the ECB’s position has not been helped at all by their opaque reasoning. They made the decision to call the tour off; they need to own it.
27th over: New Zealand 114-7 (Rowe 1, Halliday 20) Jensen had smashed Knight’s first ball back over her head for four, and looked very happy with the world before going for broke again and misjudging her second ball.
WICKET! Jensen c Shrubsole b Knight 19 (New Zealand 113-7)
A sweep to fine-leg where Shrubsole doesn’t mess up
26th over: New Zealand 109-6 (Jensen 15, Halliday 20) The coltish Charlie Dean gets her go. And she could have been leaving this over very happy as first Halliday mis-cues just short of Beaumont, then she has a horrible hoik(e?) and Nat Sciver runs forward on the rope to drop her second catch of the innings,the ball falling into her left hand and spilling on the ground.
25th over: New Zealand 107-6 (Jensen 14, Halliday 19) Jensen has a huge smile on her face after leaning into a wider ball from Cross, ponytail flying, and sending her spinning through the covers for four. Her second four of a lucrative over.
24th over: New Zealand 100-6 (Jensen 9, Halliday 17) Jensen isn’t going to die wondering. Biffs Ecclestone - once over mid-on, once over mid-off - and a wide makes that England’s most expensive over of the day.
23rd over: New Zealand 90-6 (Jensen 1, Halliday 17) Halliday looking in good touch but nobody is able to stay with her.
WICKET! Martin b Cross 5 (New Zealand 90-6)
A slower wobble ball and Martin is foxed.
22nd over: New Zealand 85-5 (Martin 5, Halliday 12) At the same stage England were 125-2, which pretty much sums up how New Zealand are faring in this run chase. I vote they go for broke, no point darting singles for the next 25 overs.
21st over: New Zealand 82-5 (Martin 5, Halliday 9) Martin picks up her first runs, hacking Cross away through backward point for four.
Another moment of the summer comes in from Lloyd: “When Liam Livingstone got that hundred at Headingley and hit the ball over the Emerald stand.”
20th over: New Zealand 76-5 (Martin 0, Halliday 8) Ecclestone did not enjoy being driven down the ground for four by Halliday, and follows up with a dot. Lovely scenes round the boundary at Canterbury with kids running about on the grass. Almost, New Zealand cricket ground vibes.
19th over: New Zealand 71-5 (Martin 0, Halliday 4)
WICKET! Devine lbw Cross 3 (New Zealand 66-5)
Amy Jones is more confident than anyone else and Devine reviews... but it’s umpire’s call and Devine must go.
18th over: New Zealand 66-4 (Devine 3, Halliday 0) With breathless energy Ecclestone loops through five dot balls before Devine wriggles three off the last.
17th over: New Zealand 63-4 (Devine 3, Halliday 0) A lovely shot by Satterthwaite for four, but bad energy in the dismissal. It’s looking a bit shonky for New Zealand now.
WICKET! Satterthwaite c Sciver b Cross 6 (New Zealand 63-4)
A nothing shot to extra cover as Sciver makes up for her earlier fluffball.
16th over: New Zealand 59-3 (Devine 0, Satterthwaite 2) New Zealand’s last real hopes at the crease. Devine has a little work to do after her first innings 1-74 from ten.
WICKET! Green c and b Ecclestone 22 (New Zealand 59-3)
Oh dear. Green plays pattacake and the balls loops straight back to Ecclestone.
New Zealand: 15th over 51-2 (Green 14, Satterthwaite 2)
New Zealand: 14th over 44-2 (Green 7, Satterthwaite 2) New Zealand gasping around desperately for inspiration as England rattle through their overs like a mouse on a wheel. The pressure builds and it ALMOST works as a frustrated Satterthwaite launches... and Sciver, somehow, drops her at mid wicket. That’s England’s first drop - New Zealand dropped 8. A (n almost wicket) maiden.
New Zealand: 13th over 44-2 (Green 7, Satterthwaite 2) Ooof! Cross, bounding in with that puppyish enthusiasm, skittles one through and Green gets an edge which bypasses Amy Jones and down to the boundary.
New Zealand: 12th over 39-2 (Green 3, Satterthwaite 1) Super bowling by Ecclestone as Satterthwaite gets a thick outside edge to her first ball. Real turn here on a pitch as pale as a lightly baked flapjack.
WICKET! Down b Ecclestone 27 (New Zealand 38-2)
Down gambles on sweeping Ecclestone, not a wise choice. There’s flight, and zip and Down gets down on one knee only to see her bails dislodged.
New Zealand: 11th over 38-1 (Green 3, Down 27) Ah, that’s more like it by Down, as Cross - in her first over - drifts a touch wide and Down leans into a drive.
New Zealand: 10th over 33-1 (Green 3, Down 22) I’m reminded that Sophie Ecclestone didn’t get a wicket in the last match, astonishingly. Green and Down are able to pick her off for three singles. And at the end of the power play, New Zealand haven’t really moved out of first gear. At this rate, they’ll have 160 at the end of the innings.
New Zealand: 9th over 30-1 (Green 2, Down 20) Shrubsole moving the ball inexorably, as if with the tide. And, in news that isn’t going to make New Zealand feel any better, Sophie Ecclestone gets the ball.
New Zealand: 8th over 28-1 (Green 1, Down 19) Green gets off the mark to her sixth ball - she’s been slower - but even Down is finding Sciver tricky to get away.
New Zealand: 7th over 26-1 (Green 0, Down 18) A lofted heave - that’s more like it - brings Down runs, but Bates’ rotten form continues - a shot of desperation straight to Beaumont who puffs out her cheeks in relief after the ball bobbles in her hands.
WICKET! Bates c Beaumont b Shrubsole 6 (New Zealand 25-1)
A top-edge flies to Beaumont at backward point, who stabilizes the catch on her chest.
New Zealand: 6th over 19-0 (Bates 5, Down 13) Sciver skims one past the outside of Down’s bat. New Zealand aren’t oozing confidence here.. and as I say that Down hooks Sciver way over Dunkley’s head to pick up the first boundary of the innings.
New Zealand: 5th over 15-0 (Bates 5, Down 9) Down tinkers nicely to send the ball down to but the ball slows as it approaches the rope and they only pick up three. Who is going to go for broke here? England aren’t giving New Zealand half-penny bit.
New Zealand: 4th over 11-0 (Bates 4, Down 6) Just one off the miserly Sciver and New Zealand need to find some acceleration from somewhere in this power play - not a boundary yet in the bag.
New Zealand: 3rd over 10-0 (Bates 3, Down 6) Anya Shrubsole’s somewhat matronly approach to the crease belies an incisive ability with the ball. As Raf suggests, her ability to swing the ball remains supreme.
New Zealand: 2nd over 6-0 (Bates 2, Down 3) A steady start here from New Zealand, no pork crackling, just egg sandwiches. Bates must be looking to improve on her miserable summer total to date of 51 runs from four innings.
Ravi asks a question to which I’m not completely sure of the answer but I would guess it has something to do with data. Perhaps Wyatt’s numbers don’t look as good in 50-over cricket.
New Zealand: 1st over 3-0 (Bates 1, Down 1) A knock at the door means I have nothing to say about this over other than Shrubsole bowled it.
Andrew Benton is in nominating mood, “I was thinking of any one of Joe Root’s centuries, but their context still makes me angry - systemic batting failure by England men’s! I think a management shake-up would do them all good, give Silverwood a chance to pursue other career options and get some where-withall into the set up at the right level. The recent Pakistan pull out was so badly handled, it’s all indicative of a flabby and underperforming management where persistent mediocrity is regarded as success to build on. The Ashes will surely stay in Aus this time around. “
New Zealand's innings!
Susie Bates is standing in her crease, staring at the dirt, and about to face Anya Shrubsole.
The sun has come out at Canterbury - a beautiful autumnal scene for the last international day’s cricket of the summer. Earlier Tim asked for people’s favourite cricketing moments of the season. My son nominates Dane Vilas sweeping that final four at Aigburth on Thursday to keep Lancashire in the hunt for the County Championship title. But what’s yours?
Hello! Thanks Tim - what a coda to the summer that was for England. Their best batting performance, with Tammy Beaumont ruling the roost and runs all the way through beside her (apart from Heather Knight - and she’s earned a break). A bit of a shambles from New Zealand, dropped catches, misfields a plenty and a bowling attack lacking variety. Will they be able to put the first innings behind them and come out blazing? It feels like bang or bust before they fly off home.
England finish on 347!
50th over: England 347-5 (Dunkley 33, Wyatt 43) The dubious honour of bowling the last over goes to Hannah Rowe, who begins with a ball that helpfully sums up the whole innings. It’s short, it gets the treatment from Wyatt, it goes straight to the woman at deep square – who drops it over the boundary for six! Oh dear, oh dear. Rowe recovers well, with a couple of dots and a couple of singles, but the last ball is leg-side-ish and Wyatt sweeps it for four. She’s raced to 43 off only 20 balls and the partnership is 79 off 6.2 overs. England have been immense, and the New Zealanders have paid a high price for all those dropped catches. They twice took two quick wickets, but England just kept going. Beaumont was a very nippy anchor, and Sciver, Jones, Dunkley and Wyatt all came bearing fireworks.
That’s my summer done – thanks so much for all the company and correspondence, from the Tests to The Hundred to this. It’s been a blast. For the last international stint of the summer, it’s time to hand over to Tanya, the most lyrical voice in the OBO choir.
49th over: England 335-5 (Dunkley 32, Wyatt 32) Poor old Devine bowls the widest of the many wides we’ve seen today, missing the cut strip and seeing it dribble away for four. And then she dishes up a full toss, which Wyatt wallops for six. Devine finishes with one for 74 off her ten overs.
48th over: England 318-5 (Dunkley 27, Wyatt 24) Jensen bowls two perfectly decent balls, just outside off. The first is swung to long-on by Dunkley, the second late-cut to third man – 180 degrees away – by Wyatt, who then decides that a six is needed, and conjures it up by stepping away to leg and playing a wicked square drive with fast hands and rubber wrists. That’s the fifty partnership in no time at all.
47th over: England 303-5 (Dunkley 22, Wyatt 14) Dunkley tucks into Devine, slamming her down the ground for consecutive fours with a healthy disrespect. “I see your consecutive fours,” says Wyatt, “and I raise you a six over square leg.” That’s one way to bring up the 300.
46th over: England 288-5 (Dunkley 13, Wyatt 8) Jensen has been the most economical bowler today, but she drops short now outside off and Wyatt leaps into the air to upper-cut for four. This is now the highest score in a women’s ODI at Canterbury, beating Australia’s 269 on a chastening day for England in the 2019 World Cup.
45th over: England 280-5 (Dunkley 11, Wyatt 2) The good news for New Zealand is that they now have two new batters at the crease. The bad news is that one of them is Danni Wyatt, who has been on fire as England’s finisher. And the other is Sophia Dunkley, who’s been out of nick but looks in the mood as she goes down on one knee to pull Tahuhu for a rasping four.
44th over: England 269-5 (Dunkley 5, Wyatt 0) The ball before Beaumont was out, Dunkley was dropped – a tough chance that went high to Penfold at backward point, but still, the seventh of the day. The bowlers have engineered 12 wickets, and yet they’re only halfway through the England batting order.
Wicket! Beaumont c Bates b Rowe 102 (England 268-5)
Out of nowhere, Beaumont mis-times a wallop down the ground and is well caught by Suzie Bates, tumbling forward at mid-on. She gets that warm applause all over again.
43rd over: England 265-4 (Beaumont 101, Dunkley 2) So there’s some joy at last for Devine, who also manages to get the plug in. Jones was excellent, but she’ll be kicking herself for not getting the hundred that was beckoning to her.
Wicket! Jones c Tahuhu b Devine 60 (England 262-4)
Against the run of play, Jones holes out to deep mid-off.
A hundred for Tammy Beaumont!
42nd over: England 262-3 (Beaumont 100, Jones 60) Rowe comes back, but nothing can stop Beaumont reaching her hundred. She goes for a hard-run two, waves her bat, gets a hug from Jones, doffs her helmet and basks in the warm applause of her home crowd. She has 100 off 111 balls with 11 fours.
41st over: England 254-3 (Beaumont 95, Jones 57) Devine manages to turn the tap down, conceding only four singles, but England are now eyeing 325.
40th over: England 251-3 (Beaumont 93, Jones 56) With Jones making a lot of noise, Beaumont has been on rhythm guitar for the last few numbers, but now she takes the lead again. Tahuhu returns at the other end and Beaumont treats her like a part-timer, belting her down the ground for three imperious fours. She hits the ball so hard that she does herself an injury, to her back, and gets a bit of manipulation from the physio.
39th over: England 238-3 (Beaumont 80, Jones 56) Devine changes tack again, taking Tahuhu off and bringing herself back. It makes no difference as Jones spots a full toss and carts it to cow corner, where the fielder makes a half-stop that doesn’t prevent a four. The run-rate, which chugged along at 5.75 or so for ages, is now over 6.
Fifty to Amy Jones!
38th over: England 230-3 (Beaumont 77, Jones 51) Devine goes back to Satterthwaite’s spin and promptly regrets it as Jones goes inside-out to loft her for six. She follows up with a cut, just late enough to go for four, and that’s her fifty off just 36 balls. Sciver was good, but Jones has been even better.
37th over: England 216-3 (Beaumont 75, Jones 39) Lea Tahuhu is back, but her radar is still off. A ball that’s shaping as a legside wide turns into a four as Jones gets a tickle and brings up the fifty partnership off only 52 balls. The cameras find some kids playing cricket on the boundary, which is a lovely sight – except that they’re all boys.
36th over: England 209-3 (Beaumont 73, Jones 34) It’s been a while since there was a dropped catch – but hello, here we go again. Jensen tucks Jones up and the ball comes straight back to her. She gets her hands to it but can’t cling on. Story of the innings.
35th over: England 206-3 (Beaumont 71, Jones 33) Rowe goes off to nurse her wounded pride, handing over to Penfold. Jones plays that pull of hers again, twice – an orthodox one to deep square and then a cross-court forehand that whizzes past a rather surprised mid-on. Like Sciver, Jones has raced into the 30s.
34th over: England 195-3 (Beaumont 69, Jones 24) Five off the over from Jensen, which suits both teams: no more carnage as yet, but no loss of momentum either.
33rd over: England 190-3 (Beaumont 66, Jones 22) One reason why England have won this series is their game management. After scoring only 11 off four overs, they need a big one and they get it as Amy Jones targets the blameless Rowe. Two cover drives and a pull, all placed with ruthless precision: that’s 15 off the over and suddenly NZ are under the cosh again.
32nd over: England 175-3 (Beaumont 65, Jones 8) Another two-run over, from Jensen, as the New Zealanders manage to exert a gentle squeeze.
31st over: England 173-3 (Beaumont 64, Jones 7) Just two from Rowe’s over. And that’s drinks, with England still sitting pretty but NZ not out of this yet.
As Andrew Benton was on the email, I asked him for his moment of the summer. His answer is a bit of a cheat, but a good one. “My moment is one that is spread throughout the summer,” he says. “The free online video coverage! Its brilliance was encapsulated by the first of Gloucs’ matches at the Cheltenham festival in July (vs Middlesex), when there were no high cameras, and the whole coverage was at eye level – as close to being there as you could get from your computer screen! I do hope they keep the free video coverage next year. They’d be bonkers not to.” Agreed, it’s been great.
30th over: England 171-3 (Beaumont 64, Jones 6) Sophie Devine brings back Hayley Jensen with her low-slung medium-pacers. That’s fine by Jones, who works her past midwicket for a first boundary.
29th over: England 166-3 (Beaumont 64, Jones 1) Amy Jones comes out to join Tammy Beaumont, who just keeps rolling along.
Wicket! Sciver LBW b Rowe 39 (England 165-3)
Cometh the hour, cometh Hannah Rowe. She has one LBW appeal turned down but the next is successful as Sciver plays all round a straight ball. Sciver reviews, hoping it’s too high, but the verdict is umpire’s call. For a batter who was way out of form an hour ago, that was a superb innings.
28th over: England 164-2 (Beaumont 64, Sciver 39) Satterthwaite drops short, inviting Sciver to launch into that cut of hers. The partnership has raced to 68 and New Zealand badly need to break it.
27th over: England 157-2 (Beaumont 63, Sciver 33) Penfold is going to be a star with her height and pace, but like almost every young fast bowler she will need to add some consistency. In this over she drops short, playing to Beaumont’s strength on the pull, and gives away two wides.
An email from Andrew Benton. “Could it be time,” he wonders, “to bring back the term ‘butterfingers’? It was a stalwart of the Beano when I was a lad, and seems suddenly appropriate today.” It does, though as we drift away from dairy products it may have to be ICan’tBelieveIt’sNotButterfingers.
26th over: England 149-2 (Beaumont 58, Sciver 32) The batters have got a taste for Satterthwaite, helping themselves to four singles and a two.
25th over: England 143-2 (Beaumont 54, Sciver 30) Devine takes herself straight off again and brings back Molly Penfold, who responds with a tight over, conceding only two. But at the halfway stage England are still in charge and on course for 300.
24th over: England 141-2 (Beaumont 53, Sciver 29) After 23 overs of right-arm seam, Devine decides it’s time for some spin. On comes Amy Satterthwaite with her off-breaks, and Sciver, spotting something only slightly short, rocks back and cuts for four. Since that nick when she was on 0, she has played herself right back into form.
Fifty to Tammy Beaumont!
23rd over: England 136-2 (Beaumont 52, Sciver 25) Devine brings herself back, but the batters aren’t the least bit bothered. Sciver dishes up an off-drive to make the purists swoon, and Beaumont plays yet another whip through the on side to reach a fine fifty off 54 balls with seven fours. She hasn’t been dropped once.
22nd over: England 124-2 (Beaumont 47, Sciver 19) More freebies as Tahuhu bowls three wides. Thanks to New Zealand’s sloppiness and this counter-attack from Sciver, England are back on top.
21st over: England 118-2 (Beaumont 46, Sciver 17) Sciver, who needed eight balls to get off the mark, is now unstoppable. She cover-drives Jensen, and gets another gift as Green at cover allows herself to be nutmegged. Then she leg-glances for four more, and eases a single into the covers. This is already her equal highest score since she made fifty for the Rockets, way back on 6 August.
20th over: England 108-2 (Beaumont 45, Sciver 8) That let-off could be a turning point for Sciver. She gets an attempted yorker from Tahuhu and clips it for four with nonchalant ease.
19th over: England 101-2 (Beaumont 42, Sciver 4) Ladies and gentlemen, we have another dropped catch. This is the toughest of the five as Jensen draws a thickish nick from Sciver and Katey Martin, standing up, has only a split second to react – but perhaps she didn’t need to be standing up to a new batter in no sort of form. Reprieved without scoring, Sciver has. word with herself and plays a crunching pull for four.
18th over: England 96-2 (Beaumont 40, Sciver 0) In comes Nat Sciver, who’s been in awful form with the bat for the past month, stringing together scores of 14, 4, 2, 2, 1 and 11. She manages to get through four balls from Tahuhu.
Wicket!! Knight c Martin b Tahuhu 0 (England 96-2)
Devine brings back her spearhead, Tahuhu, and it works! Heather Knight gets a touch to a nothing ball down the leg side and goes from heroine to zeroine. Game on.
17th over: England 95-1 (Beaumont 40, Knight 0) So no fifty for Winfield-Hill, no hundred partnership, and a glimmer of hope for the White Ferns.
Wicket! Winfield-Hill c Satterthwaite b Jensen 43 (England 95-1)
You’re not going to believe this, but Winfield-Hill has been dropped again. Jensen angles one in and Winfield-Hill chips it to midwicket, where Amy Satterthwaite sees it late, throws up a hand and can only tip it over the bar. And then it all happens again, off a pull shot – except that this time Satterthwaite holds on! So Winfield-Hill, who seemed to be the cat with nine lives, turns out to have only four, and doesn’t really cash in on all that generosity.
16th over: England 91-0 (Winfield-Hill 40, Beaumont 39) Rowe continues even though she was getting some strapping put on her right knee a moment ago. Katey Martin comes up to the stumps to stop the batters standing outside the crease, but she doesn’t cramp their style – Winfield-Hill straight-drives for four, Beaumont whips for four more, and this is all too easy.
15th over: England 80-0 (Winfield-Hill 33, Beaumont 35) Penfold gets a breather as Devine brings on her fifth seamer, Hayley Jensen. The bowling changes but the diet remains the same - right-arm medium pace. Jensen’s second ball is thumped past mid-off for four by Winfield-Hill, who is in the mood to make NZ pay for all those fumbles.
14th over: England 75-0 (Winfield-Hill 28, Beaumont 35) Another respectable over, another four additions to the total. Heather Knight’s hunch that this was a pitch to bat first on is looking astute – though the ball has done enough to justify Sophie Devine going the other way. It’s been all about those dropped catches.
13th over: England 71-0 (Winfield-Hill 27, Beaumont 32) Penfold is good enough not to go for four, but the runs are still flowing – a couple of singles, a leg-bye and a wide. It’s looking ominous for the New Zealanders.
12th over: England 67-0 (Winfield-Hill 27, Beaumont 31) NZ are desperate for a breakthrough, so they review an LBW that has been turned down firmly by Sue Ryan. It was a good ball from Rowe, nipping back, probably clipping Beaumont’s off bail, but the impact was outside the line, so the review is lost. Beaumont, rubbing it in again, whips the next ball for four.
Here’s Austin Baird, answering my question about the moment of the summer. “Well, for what it’s worth,” he modestly begins, “on Sunday 12th September I was at South Northumberland CC watching Newcastle CC stalwart Keith Brown, walk off the pitch for the last time. At 56 Keith thought the time was right to hang up his boots.” 56! Don’t tell Jimmy Anderson. “I first saw the young tyro in 1982 and he may have lost some of the pace off his fast ball and he might not have been biffing long hops as hard as he used to, but his fire and desire for Newcastle CC never faded. Also playing his last game the previous day at Boldon CC was James Carr. Truly the end of an era for me. Hat tip to both. Gulp.
“PS thanks to you and all your colleagues for the sterling work you do for us.” Ah thank you Austin, it’s always a pleasure.
11th over: England 60-0 (Winfield-Hill 24, Beaumont 27) More dots as Penfold, with her long levers, ties Beaumont down – but then there’s just enough width for a cover drive, and another sloppy piece of fielding lets it slip through for four. The bowlers have really been let down by their fielders here.
10th over: England 55-0 (Winfield-Hill 24, Beaumont 22) Hannah Rowe comes on as fourth seamer and restores order with a maiden. New Zealand needed that, but England are still bossing this as the powerplay comes to an end.
9th over: England 55-0 (Winfield-Hill 24, Beaumont 22) To drop one catch may be regarded as a misfortune. To drop two looks like carelessness. To drop three is an absolute shocker, especially when it’s the same batter every time. Winfield-Hill offers a big fat snick off Penfold, and it’s a mystery why Katey Martin can’t hold on behind the stumps. Beaumont rubs it in by clipping for four, to bring up the England fifty, and then pulling for four more.
8th over: England 46-0 (Winfield-Hill 24, Beaumont 14) Devine keeps herself on but strays down the leg side, conceding four leg-byes and a wide, so an over that contains only one run off the bat ends up costing six. Adam Collins, of this parish, is commentating and he points out that this is England’s last ODI till February. The openers are playing as if they’re well aware of that.
7th over: England 40-0 (Winfield-Hill 23, Beaumont 14) Devine makes her first bowling change, replacing the off-colour Tahuhu with Molly Penfold. She starts brightly but then blots her copybook with a waist-high full-toss that is called a no-ball. Winfield-Hill tucks into the free hit, launching it over mid-on for four, and England are already on top.
6th over: England 33-0 (Winfield-Hill 18, Beaumont 13) Devine again, Winfield-Hill again, Down again – dropped again! A tougher chance this time, a drive that went a yard or so to her right at backward point. She got the dive just right and the grab all wrong. Even the best fielders can have a bad day.
5th over: England 25-0 (Winfield-Hill 12, Beaumont 11) Tahuhu is not looking like the bowler who took a five-for the other day. She drops short twice in this over and both openers cash in –Beaumont with a cut for four, Winfield-Hill with a swivel-pull for six.
Sky shows a cap ceremony from earlier on, honouring some women of Kent, past and present. “The good thing about these new caps,” says Lydia Greenway, “is that they have holes for ponytails.”
4th over: England 13-0 (Winfield-Hill 5, Beaumont 6) A maiden for Devine, but a missed opportunity. She again lures Winfield-Hill into a thick edge, and this time it’s a dolly to backward point, waist high, not too sharp – but it’s dropped by the usually reliable Lauren Down. A case of Lauren’s humanity to Lauren.
3rd over: England 13-0 (Winfield-Hill 5, Beaumont 6) Tammy Beaumont picks up two twos off Tahuhu, going back to ease through the covers, then forward to clip past midwicket. Tahuhu gets a warning for running down the line of the stumps.
2nd over: England 9-0 (Winfield-Hill 5, Beaumont 2) At the other end it’s Sophie Devine, swinging the ball prodigiously. She’s more expensive than Tahuhu but also more threatening – the first four of the day, from Lauren Winfield-Hill, comes off a thick edge, squirting past gully.
1st over: England 2-0 (Winfield-Hill 1, Beaumont 1) The new ball is in the hands of Lea Tahuhu and she’s on the spot right away, conceding only two singles. It’s a sleepy September morning in Canterbury with a modest crowd in. Katherine Brunt made another interesting point just now, saying that this series felt like a bit of a come-down after The Hundred. It may be a blight on the men’s schedule, but in itself it’s been a big hit – and for the women’s game, it’s been transformative.
A short history of women's cricket
Butcher also asks good questions, a talent not given to many people brought up on dressing-room banter. He has the England all-rounder Katherine Brunt with him now, and after teasing her a bit about the fact that she’s having another rest, he gets her to sum up the journey women’s cricket has gone on in her time.
“Always on the rise, to be honest,” she says. “You go from buying your own kit to suddenly getting some kit, thinking that’s the best thing in the world, to then getting a sponsor, to playing in front of a hundred people, to playing in front of a thousand, to 20,000-something at Lord’s. The Hundred was an enormous high and girls were going [she mimes wide-eyed and open-mouthed]. We’ve had people coming to our Rockets games saying they’d travelled five hours to get there.”
A man for all seasons
You know we’ve reached Summer’s End when the TV coverage is being fronted by a person in a raincoat. It turns out on closer inspection to be the OBO’s new favourite commentator, Mark Butcher. He’s fluent and funny and irreverent, and he has reached the top table at the right moment, just as the great Michael Holding bows out.
England 1 Tammy Beaumont, 2 Lauren Winfield-Hill, 3 Heather Knight (capt), 4 Nat Sciver, 5 Amy Jones (wkt), 6 Sophia Dunkley, 7 Danni Wyatt, 8 Charlie Dean, 9 Sophie Ecclestone, 10 Anya Shrubsole, 11 Kate Cross.
New Zealand 1 Lauren Down, 2 Suzie Bates, 3 Maddy Green, 4 Amy Satterthwaite, 5 Sophie Devine (capt), 6 Brooke Halliday, 7 Katey Martin (wkt), 8 Hayley Jensen, 9 Hannah Rowe, 10 Lea Tahuhu, 11 Molly Penfold.
NZ win the toss and bowl
Sophie Devine calls right and feels it’s a grey enough morning to have a bowl. Heather Knight says she would have batted first anyway.
Preamble: the end of the road
Morning everyone and welcome to the final reel. It’s the end of a one-day series that has been too full of life to succumb to the dread phrase “dead rubber”. New Zealand can’t win it, but they can make it 3-2, which would be a fair reflection of their efforts. And England can enjoy themselves knowing not just that the series is in the bag, but that women’s cricket in this country is now more popular than it has ever been.
Today also marks the end of England’s international summer. Can you even remember when it began? I have a hazy impression that it was at the beginning of June. Then, as now, England were playing New Zealand, but it was the men, and it was a Test. It was so long ago that Stuart Broad was fit, Dom Sibley was opening the batting, and there was a cap ceremony for a promising young debutant called James Bracey. And then England let their supporters down by refusing to embark on a run chase. If they’d know that they would win only one Test in the remainder of the season, they might have decided to give it a go.
So here we are, nearly four months later. If you’re sending an email, do tell us about your moment of the summer, large or small – something you’ll remember with a smile when darkness descends at 4pm and you’re still stuck in the queue for the petrol station.
Play starts at 11am local time, so I’ll be back shortly with the toss and the teams.