White Ferns end losing drought to keep series alive

Author
Cameron McMillan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 Sep 2021, 10:12AM
Lea Tahuhu celebrates the first wicket in the third ODI between England and New Zealand at the County Ground Grace Road, Leicester. (Photo / Photosport)
Lea Tahuhu celebrates the first wicket in the third ODI between England and New Zealand at the County Ground Grace Road, Leicester. (Photo / Photosport)

White Ferns end losing drought to keep series alive

Author
Cameron McMillan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 Sep 2021, 10:12AM

The White Ferns are finally back to their winning ways.

A maiden five-wicket haul for Lea Tahuhu and a half-century by Maddy Green has kept the five-match series against England alive with a tense three wicket win in the third match in Leicester.

Heading into the game the White Ferns had lost a staggering 16 of their last 17 ODIs including five in a row. They made hard work of the chase of 178 after bowling out England for the third in the series but a match-winning 70 not out from 106 balls for Green, her second ODI half-century, and some late hitting from Tahuhu secured the victory.

Tahuhu earlier took the first four England wickets ripping through their top order before finishing with career-best 5-37.

Fellow bowler Molly Penfold impressed on debut with the 20-year-old taking 2-42 including the wicket of game two's player of the match Danni Wyatt who was dismissed by a stunning one-handed catch at point by Lauren Down.

England were in trouble at 101-8 but again, the host's tail wagged too much for New Zealand's liking, adding 77 for the final two wickets two days after a 52-run last wicket partnership proved to be a match-winner in Worcester.

England number eight Katherine Brunt made 49 not out to set up what would be another competitive sub-200 total for the hosts.

New Zealand were in control for much of their innings before late wickets gave England a sniff of victory.

In the chase, Green put on a valuable 72 for the third wicket with Amy Satterthwaite (33) after openers Suzie Bates and Down both fell to Brunt early leaving New Zealand 13-2.

Green and Satterthwaite kept the required run rate around the 3.5 runs per over mark before Satterthwaite was caught in the 24th over, leaving New Zealand 84 for three with work still needed to do.

Sophie Devine arrived at the crease at the ground where she scored 117 three years ago to lead New Zealand to victory but was bowled for four but a solid 25 from 38 by Brooke Halliday ensured the White Ferns remained in the box seat.

However Halliday, Katey Martin and Hayley Jensen all fell within five overs leaving New Zealand exposed at 158 for seven. Green continued her steady innings and Tahuhu smashed two fours and a six in the 46th over to finish off the game with 25 balls to spare.

"Nice to finally get over the line - a little tighter than we'd have liked but we showed some resilience," Devine said after the win.

"We know the tail can do a job and some of that striking from Lea Tahuhu was outstanding. Nice to sit back and watch the girls do the job. She's been like a caged animal so it's nice to see her bowl like she did today. She's turned a corner in terms of accuracy - might not be as quick as she used to be but it's about smarts. We know that we're closing the gap on England and we're trending in the right direction heading towards the World Cup."

The next challenge, to keep the series alive in Derby on Friday and make it back-to-back wins against England for the first time since 2007 and the first time against any team since June 2018.