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England draw first blood against New Zealand in dress rehearsal for tri-series final

England 130 for 3 (Taylor 51, Sciver 38*) beat New Zealand 129 (Devine 52, Shrubsole 3-16) by seven wickets
Scorecard

England's women struck an early psychological blow ahead of Sunday's tri-series final at Chelmsford, by easing to an seven-wicket victory over their fellow finalists, New Zealand, in a low-key dress rehearsal at Bristol.

Much like the England-Belgium World Cup fixture taking place at the same time as this match, there was rather less at stake than might have been anticipated beforehand, thanks to New Zealand's earlier dispatching of South Africa, a result that confirmed the identity of the finalists.

And in a further parallel with Kaliningrad, both sides rang the changes with a view to broadening the squad's experience, but it was a familiar set of names who put the seal on England's win.

Anya Shrubsole starred with the ball, grabbing the key early wicket of Suzie Bates for a duck, en route to figures of 3 for 16. But Sarah Taylor and Nat Sciver broke the back of a sub-par target of 130 with a third-wicket stand of 81, before Heather Knight joined Sciver to wrap up the match with 4.1 overs to spare.

Taylor, who dropped an early catch off the pacey left-armer Katie George, resumed normal service with yet another leg-side stumping, this time off Sciver, before easing to a 35-ball half-century, with seven fours. She had scarcely a moment of alarm until she herself was stumped off a fine googly from Amelia Kerr, a crafty piece of bowling that earned the teenager an appreciative clap from the outgoing batsman.

New Zealand's only real hope had come early in the chase when Jess Watkin struck twice in her first seven balls to extract both openers, Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont, to similar inside-out drives to mid-off.

But ultimately New Zealand paid the price for a lop-sided innings in which Sophie Devine, the opener, was also the last out, for a battling 52 from 45 balls. Beyond her, however, only Amy Satterthwaite offered much long-term resistance with 37 from 26, but she was trapped by a full-length inswinger to become a richly deserved maiden wicket for George.

Thereafter England's spinners, Sophie Ecclestone and Danni Hazell, ripped through the lower order. Ecclestone suffered a scare in the field as she twisted her ankle after throwing the ball in from the outfield, but she returned to the fray after a brief break for treatment.