England Women have a chance to take an unassailable 3-0 lead when the take on New Zealand in the third One-day International at Grace Road here later on Tuesday. England are leading the five-match series 2-0.
England had a miraculous escape in the second ODI in Worcester, sealing a victory seemingly out of nowhere. Danni Wyatt led the fight-back with the bat while Charlotte Dean was the star performer with the ball. They now have a great chance to take the series.
For New Zealand, a much-improved performance in all the three departments is the need of the hour, as they stand on the verge of losing the series. The team management will demand more composure under tough circumstances, which will be of paramount importance against an English unit which is high on confidence.
During the second ODI in Worcester, England, batting first had a shaky start, with their innings faltering as they lost wickets at regular intervals. But a 10th-wicket partnership of 51 runs allowed them to post a respectable total of 197 on the board. Danni Wyatt scored an unbeaten 63 while Tash Farrant also contributed with crucial 22 runs.
In reply, the visitors looked in command on 111/4 before a rain delay which turned the tide of the contest. With a revised target of 183 in 42 overs, New Zealand collapsed and were bowled out for 169. They lost the contest by 13 runs (DLS method), with England taking a 2-0 series lead.
England skipper Heather Knight said, "A bit of a steal wasn't it? What character, Danni and Tash Farrant played a brilliant hand, they were on top until the rain-break then Charlie Dean came in and bowled like that, my plans for the bowlers changed about 20 times. I'm really chuffed for Danni in her 200th game. We won a game we shouldn't really win. In tournament cricket, like Ashes and World Cup, we might have to defend 200 in the World Cup; they are the worst to lose and the best to win. We've been tested, which is really pleasing."
New Zealand captain Sophie Devine said, "We're extremely disappointed, bowled England out for a sub-par total, we back ourselves to win those, rain-break or not, it was never run-rate pressure that would get us, it was wickets. You can't lose them in clumps against a strong English side. Got to go back to the drawing board, we tried too hard to get the lower-order out. Have another crack on Tuesday. Got to have a bit of mongrel about us, winning is a habit and we haven't won much of late. Got to back ourselves, and tip it over the line."
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