The White Fires missed their chance to win the series against England in their Twenty20 final in Taunton this morning.
Defending 144-4 after batting first in the third and final match of the T20 series, New Zealand lost by four wickets with one ball to spare as Sofia Dunkle set the winning boundary on the last ball.
Home captain Heather Knight scored 42 off 36 balls but fell in the last over as her team needed seven to win the last over.
The right-arm spinner took a wicket off the first ball of the over in which England needed seven runs, but four runs off two balls, Dunkle threw a full toss at the mid-wicket boundary to celebrate for the home team. ۔
* Sophie Devine led the White Fans to a Twenty20 victory in a series draw against England.
* White Frances v England: Sophie Devine hopes to turn glimpses into permanent success.
* Whitefires vs. England: The story known as the tour of the upper class in the Twenty20 opener.
“England held their nerves,” said Sophie Devine, captain of the White Fence.
“It’s disappointing not to win, but I’m very proud that we’re starting to show our work.”
Willie spin bowler Lee Caspark had earlier given New Zealand a big chance, chasing England with opener Danny Wyatt and vice-captain Nate Skywer taking consecutive wickets and finishing 3-25 in his four overs. ۔
Earlier, the visitors applied initial pressure as veteran stars Susie Bates (34 off 30 balls) and Sophie Devine (35 off 33) scored 45 for the opening wicket within seven overs as the hosts won the toss and elected to field. Leah, along with veteran bowler Katherine Burnett, chose bowling.
New Zealand reached 37-0 at the end of the six-over power play as the Bates set the conditions for their 250th international. He hit six fours – most of them well time on the side – when he scored 34 off 30 balls before being defeated by left-arm spinner Frant.
But the England bowlers ordered the middle overs while New Zealand’s innings was interrupted after 10.5 overs when the floodlights went off which slowed down the visitors’ progress.
Devine faced only 33 balls when he was hit on the last ball of the 15th over when he was deceived by the best left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone. There was also a lack of boundaries in the middle overs, with Devine scoring just three runs in his innings while Strathweight never went (13 off 21 balls).
However, late additions by Brooke Holiday (25 not out off 16 balls) and Katie Martin (13 not out off 13 balls) chased down the hosts’ 145 runs to win the series.
New Zealand They lost 144-4 (S Divine 35, S Bates 34) in 20 overs. England 145-6. In 19.5 overs (H Knight 42, D Wyatt 35, A Jones 32 ؛ L Kasperek 3-25) by four wickets.