England 184 for 4 (Beaumont 97, Jones 31, Dunkley 23*) beat New Zealand 138 (Satterthwaite 43, Brunt 2-9) by 46 runs
A batting showpiece by Tammy Beaumont
led England to an emphatic 46-run victory over New Zealand in their opening T20I at Chelmsford.
Beaumont scored 97 off 65 balls and, assisted by a neat cameo from Amy Jones
, pummelled an apparently undercooked New Zealand into submission as England reached a lofty 184 for 4. The hosts capitalised on some ordinary fielding by New Zealand, who haven't played for five months and who never really got going in the run-chase as Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone
and Sarah Glenn
claimed two wickets apiece.
With regular captain England Heather Knight
ruled out by a hamstring injury she picked up during training on Monday, Emma Lamb
made her international debut just four days after being drafted into the England squad when uncapped duo Maia Bouchier and Charlie Dean were ruled out of the first match as possible Covid contacts. Lamb made it to the crease when Beaumont fell on the penultimate delivery but did not face a ball.
Tash Farrant, match-sharpened after an excellent Hundred campaign where she was the tournament's leading wicket-taker and a key member of the winning Oval Invincibles side, struck with her fourth ball - the 10th of the run-chase - to remove Sophie Devine. And when Brunt dismissed Suzie Bates in the next over, the reformation of New Zealand's powerful top order was short-lived and the target looked close to insurmountable. Amy Satterthwaite did her best to keep New Zealand afloat with a fighting 43 off 31 but when Brunt had her caught by Mady Villiers in the deep, they were six wickets down and still more than 100 runs adrift.
Beaumont bosses it
Beaumont looked in fine touch from the start, clipping the second ball she faced through midwicket for four, followed by another through the covers. Danni Wyatt had sealed her place in the side with a match-winning 89 not out at the same ground in England's previous match - the third T20I against India in mid-July. But, after hitting Leigh Kasperek
for three consecutive fours in the third over, Wyatt's innings ended on 14 when she charged at Kasperek and was stumped by Katey Martin.
Nat Sciver, England's stand-in captain, fell for 14, having struck a glorious six off Hayley Jensen over long-off only to see the same bowler peg back her middle stump. Beaumont carried on though. She unfurled 13 fours in total, all round the ground, bringing up her fifty with a lofted drive through the covers off Kasperek and immediately helping herself to three more through point, backward square and again clearing the covers.
Beaumont was let off on 26 when Devine missed a caught-and-bowled chance and again on 64 when she hit a Satterthwaite delivery straight to mid-on where Devine shelled the chance. She brought up England's 150 with a six off Kasperek that split deep midwicket and long-on. Devine dropped another off Satterthwaite when Sophia Dunkley, on 10, skied the ball to cover but it popped out of Devine's hands as she went to ground.
Devine brought herself back into the attack in the 19th over, only to see Beaumont cart her to the rope twice in a row, over cover and mid-off. Beaumont finally fell in the last over, caught by Brooke Halliday at short third attempting to bring up her hundred with a reverse scoop off Jensen.
Jones, Dunkley chime in
Jones set off smartly with five fours in the space of nine deliveries, four of them coming off one Satterthwaite over with the first beating two scrambling fielders as she pierced midwicket and the last through the same region to bring up England's 100. Her sixth four also came off Satterthwaite, glancing through deep third before she finally fell advancing to the same bowler and was stumped by Martin.
On the eve of the match, Dunkley had stated her ambition to break into England's top four, having spent 18 months on the edges of selection just hoping to get back into the side this time last year. Knight's absence meant Dunkley, third highest run-scorer in the Women's Hundred, shuffled up to No.5 and she joined in Beaumont's clinical display, scoring an unbeaten 23 off 17 balls and hitting the last ball for four.
It was a tough return for Devine, the New Zealand captain back in the side after stepping away for a break in March. Her comeback, along with that of Suzie Bates, playing her first match since last November after undergoing shoulder surgery, meant that New Zealand's vaunted top three were back together. But when they were both out in single figures within the first three overs, it fell to Satterthwaite to salvage what she could. It was understandable that there would be some, in Devine's words after the match, "rust" given that New Zealand's last match was in April. And so there was, in the field and with the bat. Their challenge is to turn a lack of match play around ahead of Saturday's second T20I at Hove, with one more at Taunton before both sides ramp up their preparations for next year's 50-over World Cup in New Zealand with five ODIs.
Maddy Green combined well at No. 4 with Satterthwaite for a time before falling for 19 to a spectacular catch by Farrant at deep backward square off Ecclestone. It was reminiscent of Farrant's brilliant effort for the Invincibles in the Hundred eliminator, where she also took four wickets to propel her side into the final.
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo