May 19, 2024

New Zealand vs England: Amy Jones guides tourists to victory in first international

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Amy Jones came out with England 58-5

First One Day International Championship, Basin Reserve, Wellington

New Zealand 207 (48.2 overs): Bates 50 (74); Bill 3-41, Dean 3-57

England 209-6 (41.2 overs): Jones 92* (83), Dean 42* (70)

England won by four wickets

Amy Jones hit a brilliant unbeaten 92 to lead England to a four-wicket win over New Zealand in their first one-day international.

Needing 208 to win, the tourists fell to 79-6 in Wellington before being rescued by an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 130 between Jones and Charlie Dean.

Jones took the lead, playing a perfectly paced counter-attacking innings, keeping her composure in a valuable supporting knock of 42 as England crossed the line with 8.4 overs to go.

Dean had earlier taken three wickets to become the fastest woman to reach 50 ODI scalps in just her 26th match.

The off-spinner made his initial breakthrough after a 90-run opening partnership between Susie Bates and Bernadine Bezuidenhout.

Bates was dropped twice in the first seven balls of the match and was also lucky to escape lbw and a stunning catch which would have been overturned had it been reviewed.

She capitalized on that good fortune to reach 34 in her 50th ODI, but faltered on the next ball as the White Ferns fell to 207 all out.

It looked chaseable at half-way point, but England soon found themselves in trouble, and when Amelia Kerr laid the ball out for Danny White in the 17th minute, the visitors were six down and facing defeat.

But Jones and Dean set out to rectify the situation to give Heather Knight's side a 1-0 lead as the teams head to Hamilton for the second ODI, starting at 23:00 BST on Wednesday.

Go back in time to form Jones

Having failed to reach double figures in four innings during the T20 series, this was a remarkable comeback for Jones after England found themselves in a big hole.

The visitors would have been confident of starting the chase but they lost Tammy Beaumont – bowled by Jess Kerr to a full throw just below waist height – without a run on the board.

While they recovered from that early blow, the loss of five wickets in eight overs – including three for just four runs – left England on the brink.

Maia Bouchier was rebounded by a fiery Lea Tahuhu, Alice Capsey was steadfast after missing a reverse sweep, and Nat Sciver-Brunt was run out trying to sneak in a second round on a foul.

All the hallmarks of an England collapse were there and New Zealand felt that another wicket would quickly end the match.

But the wicket never arrived when Jones went to work. While she and Dean were happy to take on singles and doubles, Jones was also able to put the pressure back on the Kiwi bowlers with a number of bold shots over the top.

New Zealand continued to push for a breakthrough until the end, but the English duo became increasingly comfortable and offered little encouragement.

With fewer runs required, Jones cruised home with a flurry of eye-catching boundaries before it was left to Dean to claim one of her own.

Cross shines as England overcome early relegation

In her first white-ball international since September, Kate Cross was England's outstanding bowler at Basin Reserve.

The seamer should have had a wicket with her second ball when Bates hit the ball to mid-off, only for Sophie Ecclestone to dive over the ball.

When Bates was dropped back off Lauren Bell to start the next game again and survived after England elected not to hold a weigh-in review soon after, frustration could have been starting to creep in for the visitors.

But Kroos continued to make a calm run, shaping the ball well while making the most of the green-coloured surface to nibble the ball around the touchline.

Despite beating the bat countless times, she had to wait until her second over for her reward as New Zealand's openers contested against the new ball.

Bates and Bezuidenhout were restricted by the pacey England, and although runs became easier with the introduction of spin, it also proved their downfall as Dean made the breakthrough and Ecclestone soon claimed the second New Zealand wicket.

New Zealand regrouped with Amelia Kerr, their captain for the first time in ODIs, and Georgia Plimmer.

However, Cross came back to remove both lbw in an extraordinary spell that saw New Zealand collapse by eight wickets for 68 runs.

Even after their own collapse, the efforts of Jones and Dean ensured that the work of England's bowlers would not be in vain.

“Jones and Dean give a lesson to us all” – reaction

Player of the Match Amy Jones on TNT Sports: “I was just trying to keep it as simple as possible and focus on one ball at a time. It sounds simple but I knew if I did that Dino and I would build a good partnership.

“I tried to be as positive as possible and when the ball is in my areas, I come back myself. Then I respect the good balls when you throw the ball in good areas as well.

“I've done some work on mentality while running. It's an area I felt I could do better, so I'm glad that work paid off today.”

England Captain Heather Knight: “I felt like we were in a really good position [at the halfway stage]. The seamers, in particular, bowled really well.

“That way [Jones and Dean] “Absorbing the pressure to build a partnership and then putting the pressure back on the New Zealanders was a lesson for all of us.”

New Zealand captain Amelia Kerr: “Kate Cross bowled very well on that wicket. We didn't really have any answers for the changes in her pace and variety.

“We were in a position to get more than 250 runs, but then you look at the bowling side of things and another wicket and we probably could have defended 200 runs.”

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