New Zealand Women 124 for 4 (Priest 41, Marsh 2-25) beat England Women 122 for 5 (Winfield 48, Nielsen 2-25) by six wickets
A strong opening stand between captain Suzie Bates and Rachel Priest laid the foundation of New Zealand Women's chase against England Women in the second T20 in Whangarei, with the home side overhauling England's score with four balls to spare and squaring the three-match series.
Chasing England's 122, Bates and Priest brought the half-century of the partnership in the eighth over. Priest, the more aggressive of the two, was the first to be dismissed for a 33-ball 41 that included seven fours and a six. The 64 the two added in 9.5 overs was four more than what the entire team had scored in the first T20 at the same ground on Thursday.
The departure of Priest wobbled the New Zealand innings briefly. Kate Cross, who replaced Katherine Brunt in the England line-up, struck twice as New Zealand lost three wickets for 13 runs in 3.5 overs. However, Bates and Sophie Devine stabilised the chase with 31-run stand. Although Bates fell for a 62-ball 33 with 15 needed, Devine hit two fours and a six to finish unbeaten on 29.
England, who opted to bat, made steady progress through their innings, with Lauren Winfield's 48 being the most notable contribution before a quick cameo - 30 off 15 balls - from Heather Knight took England to 122 for 5.
The third and the last match of the series is scheduled to be played on February 24, in Lincoln.