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3rd T20I, Nelson, March 24, 2024, England Women tour of New Zealand
(20 ov, T:156) 152/8

NZ Women won by 3 runs

Player Of The Match
60 (37) & 2/23

Suzie Bates' nerveless final over keeps series alive after Sophie Devine stars

England threw away a winning position after a terrific innings form Maia Bouchier

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Suzie Bates bowled the final over and secured victory, New Zealand vs England, 3rd T20I, Nelson, March 24, 2024

Suzie Bates bowled the final over and secured victory  •  Getty Images

New Zealand 155 for 3 (Devine 60, Kerr 44*) beat England 152 for 8 (Bouchier 71, Bates 2-4) by three runs
Centered around a captain's performance from Sophie Devine, New Zealand kept the T20I series alive in dramatic circumstances after England had appeared to have victory wrapped up following a blistering innings from Maia Bouchier.
The visitors needed 30 off 30 balls with eight wickets in hand when Devine removed Bouchier and the middle order made a huge mess of things. Amelia Kerr ran out Heather Knight then removed Amy Jones. It came down to eight required off the last over which was bowled by Suzie Bates, her first of the match, and she was able to get her team across the line.
Devine, with 60 off 37 balls, and Kerr had earlier been key figures with the bat as they added 99 for the third wicket to take New Zealand to their highest T20I total against England.

Final over drama

There was a hint of controversy with the last ball of the penultimate over from Devine which looked to be a wide but wasn't called, much to the disbelief of Danielle Gibson. It meant England needed eight off the last and Devine threw the ball to the experienced Bates who had not been used up to that point in the innings.
Bates removed Holly Armitage first ball after she had been brought in as a concussion sub for Sarah Glenn. Then, although Bates missed a chance to run out Charlie Dean, she was able to close out the gap when Dean swung and missed at the last delivery.

Devine hits her stride

New Zealand had a solid powerplay, reaching 40 without loss, but England were again threatening to stifle the innings as both openers departed. Devine and Kerr consolidated initially before the captain started to open her shoulders which included taking 15 off Linsey Smith's final over.
Devine's fifty came off 30 balls when she lofted Dean for the second six of her innings although Gibson ended the innings with a terrific final over that cost just four runs to keep New Zealand under 160. Overall they managed 90 off their second 10 overs and 55 off the last five, although after the game Devine did question if they could have gone harder a little earlier.

Bouchier's blitz

Sophia Dunkley was run-out in the second over by a direct hit from Rosemary Mair, but Bouchier gave England early momentum when she took Mair for four consecutive boundaries in the fifth over. At the end of the powerplay. England were a healthy 60 for 1.
Bouchier had not quite been able to go through the gears in the first two games but was very impressive here as she brought up a maiden T20I fifty off 33 balls. Overall she struck 11 fours and a six, which meant 50 off her 71 runs came in boundaries.
She and Tammy Beaumont gave England the platform from where they should have won with the pair adding 92 in 61 balls. But when Beaumont found mid-off New Zealand started to squeeze with Knight not finding the fluency of the earlier matches. Devine gave her side the opening when she removed Bouchier although it still needed a remarkable effort to come out on top.

Sarah Glenn subbed out

In the sixth over, Glenn dropped a catch at mid-off and banged her head on the outfield in the process. She didn't appear to be immediately checked and came on to bowl the seventh over where she had Bates stumped to give England their first breakthrough. However, shortly after, she left the field and didn't return. At the interval it was confirmed she had failed a concussion test and was replaced by Armitage to make it her T20I debut.
"Sarah Glenn had a head injury assessment (HIA) and hasn't passed," an ECB spokesperson said. "Sarah will be assessed later today to determine next steps."
Losing Glenn for a period of time would be a blow to England's attack, but it will be compensated for by the return of Sophie Ecclestone with those players who had been at the WPL available from the fourth match of this series in Wellington.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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