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White Ferns lose England T20 series finale

White Ferns
The White Ferns lost four of five T20 matches against England. PHOTO: DAVE LINTOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

Without captain Sophie Devine and with other stars Suzie Bates and Melie Kerr not delivering with the bat, the White Ferns were no match for England.


After battling to 136-5, the White Ferns fell to England by five wickets at Wellington's Basin Reserve on Friday, losing the five-match T20 series 4-1.


Batting first, New Zealand lost three wickets during the power-play and accumulating a total that would not really test the tourists. However, it could have been worst if not for young wicketkeeper Izzy Gaze.


Teetering at 69-5 in the 13th over, Gaze helped resurrect the innings, finishing unbeaten for a maiden half-century to become the first White Ferns batter not named Devine, Bates or Kerr to reach that milestone since 2018. 


With Devine sidelined with a quad strain, too much rested with the experienced duo of opener Bates and acting captain Kerr, and neither put up much batting resistance.


Opener Bernadine Bezuidenhout lasted only five balls, while Kerr followed two overs later and Bates was next to fall. When Georgia Plummer departed just three balls later, The White Ferns were 31-4 and in deep trouble.


England women's cricket
England defeat the White Ferns 4-1 in T20 series. PHOTO: DAVE LINTOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

Maddie Green and Brook Halliday put on 38 runs for the fifth wicket, before Green fell. 


Gaze had never scored 50 at any representative level, but showed her ability by ramping over the keeper three times and clearing the boundary once, as she and Halliday rescued the innings.


They brought up a New Zealand record of 56 runs for the sixth wicket, before Halliday was caught for 33, her highest international T20 score. Gaze continued her assault, reverse-sweeping the final ball of the innings for her half-century - 51 off 28 balls, including six fours and a six.


Lea Tahuhu removed England opener Maia Bouchier, the leading run-scorer for the series, early, while Kerr dismissed Alice Capsey and Danni Wyatt as England were 64-3 in the 10th over.


But captain Heather Knight and Nat Sciver-Brunt put on 57 runs for the fourth wicket to put the total within reach. Both were dismissed, with Kerr taking another wicket to finish with 3-40 from four overs, but England's lower-order finished it off with seven balls remaining.


Next up is the three-match one-day series between the two nations, starting at the Basin Reserve on Monday (first-ball 11am).

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