England’s woes are not over, but they manage to pass New Zealand and remain in the World Cup reckoning

England eliminated New Zealand’s chances at reaching the semi-finals in their home World Cup. However, it was not without a scare. They lost five wickets for twenty runs in their pursuit of 204 runs before finally winning with one wicket left.

After England had bowled New Zealand out in 48.5 runs, it should have been an easy run chase. Thanks to three wickets each from Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone, England beat New Zealand by a run. England was at 176 for four after a half century from Nat Sciver, plus contributions from Heather Knight (42) et Sophia Dunkley (33)

Sciver was out bowled for 61 by Frankie Mackay in the 44th. Frankie Mackay then spun one past Dunkley’s outer edge, before removing Ecclestone, Cross and Cross in four balls. Mackay finished with career-best four runs for 34.

England was left nine runs down after Katherine Brunt’s run-out. She had pulled straight to deep middlewicket and called for a second. To the relief of England’s dugout, Anya Shrubsole (No 11) managed to pull off a perfect cover drive for four runs to even the score. England then took a narrow victory at midwicket.

England’s path to the semi-finals is not certain, but they did beat Bangladesh and Pakistan in the remaining matches. They will most likely make it to the knockout stage.

Knight stated, “It shouldn’t have been that close. We need to be more than that.” Knight stated, “We need to do better at taking on pressure.”

Cross said, “We are not being clinical enough.” It’s been a tough tournament for us. It hasn’t gone the way we expected or planned. We are starting to get up and getting back on our feet. We have the win and the points we need. That’s the main thing.

New Zealand was left without their captain Sophie Devine. Devine had suffered a leg injury while batting and had to retire. Then, just minutes after Lea Tahuhu made her country’s number one wicket-taker in women’s ODIs, by bowling Tammy Beaumont between pad and bat, Beaumont was also forced off the pitch. Beaumont pulled up with a hamstring problem, making the Kiwis short on bowlers.

England managed to make a run for it, but they lost Danni Wyatt to a stunning catch by Hannah Rowe at middle-off. Amy Jones was caught again in midwicket. With the rain falling steadily, Sciver and Dunkley managed a 70-run partnership to keep England ahead of DRS. However, their efforts were almost ended by the collapse at the last minute.

Amy Satterthwaite, New Zealand’s stand in skipper, said that it was “gut-wrenching” to be so close but not get there. “But to show courage and fight and keep going. I’m proud that the group did that throughout this campaign.

New Zealand had begun strongly and reached 134 in the 31st Over before another fine performance by Charlie Dean (two for 36), who removed Amelia Kerr (24) from 38 (24 of 38) as well as Satterthwaite (24) from 42, both trying to sweep.

Maddy Green (52) defeated Ecclestone (61). This was her first half-century at the World Cups. Ecclestone, who was three for 41, worked her magic on the other end. Knight’s incredible diving catch at cover secured the win and allowed Ecclestone to finish the tail.

Although Jess Kerr was able to punish two Katherine Brunt gimmes for boundary violations in order to get her side past 200, Dean eventually ran her out at square leg. Seven balls of the New Zealand innings remained unused.

Brunt and Shrubsole’s erratic opening spells had seen New Zealand fly. Devine and SuzieBates put on 44 runs in the first seven overs. Knight was forced to remove both of their bowlers from the attack. Brunt’s first ball, a leg-side toss with a full toss, set the tone for the day. This added one to England’s total so far of 69 wides in this tournament.

The introduction of Cross in the eighth innings, along with controversial umpiring by Ruchira Palliyaguruge, highlighted an England fightback. Bates and Devine were adjudged to have crossed into the danger zone by batting out of their respective creases. The official from Sri Lanka advised both openers and Bob Carter, who reacted with anger. Bates clearly was affected and sent Beaumont a leading edge at mid-off trying to lift one over the top.

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