Commonwealth Games: England thrash New Zealand and avoid Australia semi-final

By Alistair WatkinsBBC Sport at Edgbaston
Commonwealth Games Group B, Edgbaston:
England 72-3 (11.4 overs) beat New Zealand 71-9 (20 overs) by seven wickets - scorecard
South Africa 49-0 (6.1 overs) beat Sri Lanka 46 (17.1 overs) by 10 wickets - scorecard

England cruised to a seven-wicket Twenty20 victory over New Zealand and will face India rather than Australia in the Commonwealth Games semi-finals.

Fast bowler Katherine Brunt took two wickets for four runs in a superb opening spell that put England on top.

Issy Wong and Sarah Glenn also took two wickets as New Zealand stuttered to 71-9 after opting to bat first.

Alice Capsey hit 23 and Sophia Dunkley 19 as England won with 8.2 overs to spare to finish top of their group.

England have won six T20 matches in a row including all three of their Commonwealth Games group matches.

They will take on India in the last four on Saturday, while New Zealand will have to play clear gold-medal favourites Australia.

Nat Sciver, captain in the absence of the injured Heather Knight, said: "New Zealand have been a strong side and they usually put up a pretty good fight. It's really nice to have a calm win.

"If we start like that against any team I think we'll be in a pretty good position. We're not thinking about wins in a row, more about attitude and the way we're playing, we've fallen into the rhythm of it.

"Taking on the ball when we're batting and looking for wickets as much as we can when we're bowling - that attitude has really helped us play with a bit more freedom and it seems to have worked."

Inspirational Brunt sets the standard

In front of a crowd of 10,892, Brunt knocked out New Zealand captain Sophie Devine's leg stump with a brilliant delivery in the first over of the game.

The 37-year-old followed that up by bowling Amelia Kerr in her next over as England made a flying start.

Brunt finished her spell of three overs with the outstanding figures of 2-4 and one maiden, giving her younger team-mates the perfect platform to shine.

Wong, the promising 20-year-old fast bowler, followed up by removing Suzie Bates, New Zealand's most dangerous batter, for six and then a comical run-out reduced their opponents to 21-4 in the seventh over.

Wong deceived Hayley Jensen with a slower ball to claim her second wicket, before 22-year-old leg-spinner Glenn got in on the act.

Slow left-armer Sophie Ecclestone, 23, also kept the batters tied down and at one point it looked like New Zealand would fail to bat out their 20 overs.

They did, but the target was never enough.

England opener Danni Wyatt fell cheaply for one, attempting a big hit, but Capsey, with four boundaries in one over, and Dunkley played some classy shots as the hosts closed in on victory.

They both departed, but Sciver and wicketkeeper Amy Jones completed the victory in style to the delight of the fans.

Earlier, Sri Lanka were skittled for 46 in 17.1 overs against South Africa, who completed a 10-wicket victory in 6.1 overs for their first win.

Several players stayed behind to sign autographs and pose for selfies after the match

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC