Defending champions England sealed a one-wicket win over hosts New Zealand in a group stage match to keep their semi-final hopes alive at Sunday’s ICC Women’s World Cup.
Experienced middle-ranked batter Maddy Green had the highest score for New Zealand with an unbeaten 52, while skipper Sophie Devine contributed 41 before England eliminated the hosts at Eden Park with 203.
England pacesetter Kate Cross (3/35) and star spinner Sophie Ecclestone (3/41) shared six wickets, while spinner Charlie Dean (2/36), who slowed the ball in a solid performance, lost two of those wickets doughs.
All-rounder Natalie Sciver (61) then anchored the innings with a patient half-century, but the defending champions slipped from a comfortable 176 for five to 196 for nine in five overs to nearly snatch a loss from a winning position.
However, Anya Shrubsole (7) and Charlie Dean (0) kept their cool and led England across the finish line to their second tournament win.
Because of this victory, England managed to secure a place in the semi-finals and edge out New Zealand from fifth place. India, England and New Zealand are all at 4 points now.
While India and England have two games left, New Zealand have a game in hand.
England’s top order started their 204 chase aggressively, aiding the work of their spinners who kept New Zealand at a modest total.
Opener Danni Wyatt fell to Jess Kerr for 12 while Tammy Beaumont (25) was bowled clean by Lea Tahuhu (1/18).
Skipper Heather Knight raced to 42 carries for 53 balls before being counted a leg ahead of Frankie Mackay in the 23rd over. Wicketkeeper Amy Jones (1) soon followed her captain.
Sciver then joined forces with Sophie Dunkely, 33, to forge a crucial 70-run partnership as England looked set for victory.
The New Zealand bowlers, however, managed a comeback with a flurry of wickets, increasing the pressure on England.
Earlier, New Zealand seemed headed for a massive total at one point, with Devine scoring at will and Amelia Kerr (24) looking confident for the crease.
However, Devine was injured in the 15th over with a back problem and Kerr holed for 24 to become Charlotte Dean’s (2/36) first casualty as England hit back heavily in the middle overs.
The experienced Amy Satterthwaite (24) and Green tried to fight back but England, who had been lax on the field in their earlier games, performed well in that area, scoring two run-outs.
Satterthwaite was caught leg before by Dean and then the duo of Cross and Eccelstone cleared the rear to sack the White Ferns in the penultimate over of their innings.