22 Mar 2024

Cricket: Batting meltdown costs White Ferns T20 against England

4:40 pm on 22 March 2024
New Zealand allrounder Mellie Kerr.

The dismissal of Melie Kerr sparked a middle order batting collapse for the White Ferns. Photo: Chris Symes / www.photosport.nz

A mid-innings batting meltdown has seen New Zealand slump to a 15 run loss in the second T20 cricket international against England in Nelson.

The return of skipper Sophie Devine and allrounder Melie Kerr from the Women's Premier League in India had given the White Ferns some hope they could turn around the 27 run loss in Dunedin in game one earlier in the week.

After winning the toss and opting to field, New Zealand reduced England to 77 for 6 and looked on course to have the tourists out for a low total.

However the White Ferns let England off the hook, with skipper Heather Knight making an unbeaten 56 off 40 balls as the tourists scored 72 in the last six overs to 149 for 7.

Devine and fellow medium pacer Rosemary Mair were the most successful of the White Fern bowlers taking two wickets each.

New Zealand were in the match at 100-3 in the 15th over but the dismissal of Melie Kerr for 44 off 36 deliveries sparked a collapse as the White Ferns lost five wickets for just eight runs, going from 100-3 to 108-8 in the space of three overs as the England spinners took charge.

Tailender Lea Tahuhu clubbed 15 not out off nine balls in a cameo at the end but it was to no avail as England went two nil up in the five match series.

Game three in the five match series between New Zealand and England will also be at Saxton Oval.

Game three in the five match series between New Zealand and England will also be at Saxton Oval. Photo: Chris Symes / www.photosport.nz

Despite the batting collapse Devine maintained she saw some positives in the loss.

"We got ourselves into winning positions. At the start with the ball we put them under pressure and took wickets and it wasn't until the last five or six overs where they let lose and we probably missed a little bit with the ball," she told TVNZ.

"Then with the bat - a great start but it just faded away in that middle phase... we know we are going to have to be better if we are going to beat this England team.

Devine felt England's total of 149 was a par score on a wicket that was a little softer than they anticipated.

"We obviously let them get away with 20 or 30 more runs than needed, but we are really confident with this group and we know if we get a good start and build some partnerships we can break the back of a chase like that... but we need to have some honest discussions particularly as a batting group but there are some really positive signs there."

Game three is also at Saxton Oval in Nelson on Sunday.