England v New Zealand: Tammy Beaumont hits 102 as hosts win final ODI by 203 runs for 4-1 series victory

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Fifth one-day international, The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury:
England 347-5 (50 overs): Beaumont 102, Jones 60, Rowe 2-65
New Zealand 144 (35.2 overs): Halliday 27, Knight 3-24, Cross 3-44
England won by 203 runs; win series 4-1
Scorecard

Tammy Beaumont’s century set up a crushing 203-run win for England over New Zealand at Canterbury to complete a 4-1 one-day international series victory.

Beaumont’s 102 laid the platform for England to post 347-5 from their 50 overs – their highest ODI total against New Zealand.

Amy Jones made a valuable 60 while Danni Wyatt’s unbeaten 43 from 20 balls propelled England to a total that always felt beyond the tourists.

Kate Cross took 3-44 to complete a superb summer with the ball as the White Ferns slipped to 90-6 as they struggled to chase the rate.

Skipper Heather Knight chipped in with 3-22 as New Zealand faded to be bowled out for 144 with 14.4 overs to spare.

The 4-1 win means England have won all of their limited-overs series in a busy home summer.

Beaumont’s brilliant innings got them off to a flyer and her 93-run partnership with Jones put further pressure on an already ragged New Zealand outfit.

The White Ferns dropped eight catches and looked exhausted at the end of what has been a punishing schedule for them.

However, the result here – and the series victory – will give England confidence before they head to Australia for the Women’s Ashes in January.

Beaumont shines at summer’s end

Only three players – Meg Lanning of Australia, New Zealand’s Suzie Bates and former England captain Charlotte Edwards – have scored more ODI centuries than Beaumont.

Her innings provided the perfect opportunity for England to knit together their best batting innings of the series. They played with a freedom and power that the various batting collapses in previous games has prevented them from showing.

Beaumont passed 50 from only 55 balls and it featured seven fours, helped by a New Zealand bowling attack that lacked variety. Her timing off her pads was meticulous, as was the thump through mid-wicket that took her to her half-century.

Jones was her ideal foil. The wicketkeeper has struggled with the bat this summer but thrived off Beaumont’s positivity. Her three fours in four balls off Hannah Rowe, far and away New Zealand’s best bowler on show, underlined England’s dominance.

Although Beaumont was disappointed to fall shortly after reaching her century, well caught by Bates off a Rowe slower ball, her innings laid the way for Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley to accelerate.

England plundered 96 from the final 10 overs, Wyatt hitting four sixes and three fours, as England raced to what was their sixth highest ODI total, and the highest ever conceded by New Zealand. This was the game where things finally clicked for an admittedly tired batting line-up.

There are still concerns. Opener Lauren Winfield-Hill has not made an international half-century since 2016 and has a tendency to bat brilliantly and then fall cheaply. She was dropped four times in her 43. Better sides will take those chances.

Cross underlines England’s World Cup pedigree

This sort of performance is the one England will want to replicate against Australia in the Women’s Ashes, which begin on 27 January, and then when they defend their World Cup title in March.

Those who needed to score runs at Canterbury- in particular Jones and Nat Sciver, who made 39 – did. Despite Knight, so often the anchor, falling for a duck, England did not fade away. Beaumont led the charge, while providing Wyatt with the perfect set-up for her explosive hitting in the final overs.

Spinner Charlie Dean’s emergence has been a real positive for England, particularly the way she handled herself in the close match at Worcester, while seamer Cross capped off an excellent campaogn with a three-wicket haul.

Cross was not assured of a starting place in the 50-over line-up at the start of the summer, but finishes the series with eight wickets from her four matches at an economy rate of 4.80.

She has bowled with pace and accuracy to establish herself as England’s first-change bowler, offering support to Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt, who have been troubled by injury.

Sophie Ecclestone, who has at times been troubled by her shoulder after bowling an incredible amount of overs during the summer, picked up 2-31 while Shrubsole took 1-20.

Sterner tests than New Zealand await, and the White Ferns will have plenty of reckoning of their own before their World Cup begins on home soil. But for England, this was as near perfect a way to end a transformational summer for women’s cricket.

‘We’ve had so many people stepping up’ – what they said

England captain Heather Knight: “I probably wasn’t at my best against India at the start of the summer, I felt a bit scratchy. I worked really hard and wanted to make a big contribution in these ODIs, especially with the winter we’ve got coming up so I’m delighted it went well.

“I’ve enjoyed the series, I’ve felt in good nick and I wanted to be the one making match-winning contributions. But we’ve had so many people stepping up and putting in performances over the series.”

England World Cup-winning spinner Alex Hartley on BBC Test Match Special: “What’s exciting for this England team is there’s so much room for improvement. They have been dominant today but they haven’t been all series. Their bowling has been brilliant but they have had batting collapses and they’ll know that needs improving.

“But that performance is exactly how they should play and it’ll give them confidence knowing they can play like that, especially with such a big winter coming up.”

England seamer Kate Cross on Sky Sports: “I felt good all summer to be honest, I felt confident and I think a lot of that comes from having a clear role in the team, in those middle overs being boring, bowling stump-to-stump and picking up wickets.

“The main thing for me is being part of this team. There’s been times where I didn’t think I’d get an England shirt back on, so to get milestones is really nice.”

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine: “It’s one of those games you just flush down the dunnie. Full credit to England, they completely outperformed us.

“We’re not going to dwell on that, we’ve had some real highlights throughout this tour and that’s what we’re going to reflect on.”

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