New Zealand Women 131 for 8 (Birch 4-27) beat England Women 122 for 7 by 9 runs
Women's cricket again stole a march over its male counterpart. In 1973 the inaugural women's World Cup took place two years before the men's version. And at Hove this evening, New Zealand won the first-ever Twenty20 international, beating England by nine runs. England, set a modest 132 to win, could only muster 122 for 7 in front of a small crowd at Hove.
In front of Sky TV cameras, Rebecca Rolls gave New Zealand a solid start after they had chosen to bat, making 39 from 32 balls and seeing them through to 79 for 1 along with Maia Lewis (25). Lewis's run out triggered a dramatic collapse as six wickets fell for 28 runs, Rosalie Birch doing most of the damage with 4 for 27.
Although England lost Nicola Shaw and Laura Newton early on, they seemed on course as Charlotte Edwards stroked a confident 34 to take them to 63 for 2. But three wickets, including Edwards, from Aimee Mason turned the tide. England were always behind the rate thereafter despite Claire Taylor's 43 off 33 balls, and Rebecca Steele really added pressure, conceding just 14 runs from her four overs.