England captain Heather Knight admits loss had provided “a bit of a humbling”
New Zealand XI 316 for 5 (Dodd 91, Halliday 79) beat England women 286 for 12 (Wyatt 54, Knight 51*, Green 5-56) by 30 runs
England women slipped to a 30-run defeat against New Zealand XI in their final warm-up match before next week’s ODI series, with captain Heather Knight admitting the loss had provided “a bit of a humbling”.
The hosts batted first in Queenstown and posted 316 for 5 in their 50 overs, with opener Natalie Dodd top-scoring with 91 off 104 balls. She set the tone for the innings with a stand of 87 in 15 overs with Hayley Jensen, who was bowled by Sophie Ecclestone for 47.
Lauren Down fell to the same bowler, holing out to wide long-on, but Dodd accelerated in the second half of the innings alongside Brooke Halliday, who advanced her case to make an ODI debut with a 56-ball 79. England conceded 160 runs in the final 20 overs to leave themselves facing a daunting target.
Danni Wyatt made a bright start to the chase, hitting 54 off 42 balls, but England lost their top four inside 13 overs as Claudia Green made new-ball inroads with her hooping inswingers. They slumped to 133 for 7 in the 24th over, with the middle order failing to kick on after starts, though Ecclestone’s half-century kept them alive. Knight returned for her second hit, making 51 not out off 32 from a nominal No. 12 after England had lost their 10th wicket in the 39th over, but they still fell 30 runs short.
“I think our preparation hasn’t been ideal,” Knight said. “We were a little bit off the pace in a number of areas. We did some really good stuff but getting back into the groove of 50-over cricket you have to do those things for a lot longer, and more consistently. As bowlers you need to find that consistency to build pressure and as batters you need to go on and score those big scores.
“I guess the preparation we’ve had before New Zealand has been tough, because we’ve obviously come out of an English winter without being able to train properly and then straight into a couple of warm-up games, but in my opinion these two games have been really good preparation and they’ll really sharpen us up for that first ODI when we need to be hitting our straps against New Zealand in a week or so.
“[It was] exactly what we needed to be able to sharpen up and get match-ready because obviously we haven’t played ODI cricket for a long time. Credit to the New Zealand Development XI, they gave us a bit of a humbling there to be honest, but that’s really good preparation for us and it identifies exactly what we have to do and how we’re going to have to work hard across the next few practice sessions here and then at Christchurch ahead of the first ODI.”
“We’re really stoked to get the win today,” Dodd said. “The key was being able to spend some time in the middle. It was really valuable to get to face them. I learned a lot about where their bowlers are looking to bowl to me. Their spinners bowled a lot quicker than a lot of ours do in our domestic competition. These games have been great preparation.”