ANI Photo | England defeat New Zealand in 1st T20I, skipper Heather Knight leads batting effort

Skipper Heather Knight’s blitzkrieg powered England to a comfortable 27-run win over New Zealand in the first T20I of the five-match series at the University Oval on Tuesday.
Heather’s quick-paced 63 off 39 deliveries powered England to a competitive total of 160/4. In reply, the hosts got off to a promising start with stand-in skipper Suzie Bates taking the onus of scoring runs while Georgia Plimmer held on to her wicket and rotated the strike.
The 59-run partnership kept New Zealand close to the required rate till the conclusion of the powerplay. New Zealand posted 44/1 on the board in the first six overs.
But after the end of the powerplay, boundaries became scarce and Plimmer’s (21) dismissal put the hosts’ back against the wall.
Bates continued to hunt for boundaries but New Zealand lost Maddy Green in the 13th over as the asking rate continued to escalate briskly.
Bates (65) lost her wicket to Lauren Bell and Brooke Halliday’s attempts did not succeed as England kept a hold over proceedings.
New Zealand could score 133/5 with Bell taking two wickets by conceding 29 runs.
New Zealand won the toss and put England to bat. England scored runs briskly despite going two wickets down before the 8th over.
In her 100th T20I appearance, Tammy Beaumont got dismissed for 15 while Sophia Dunkley (32) fell after seeming to be on way to a huge score.
Knight arrived at the crease and launched her onslaught on the English bowlers. With elegance and class, she stitched up a 91-run stand with Maia Bouchier for 3rd wicket.
Their combined efforts propelled England to a score of 160/4. (ANI)

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