White Ferns dominate England to claim T20 bronze at Edgbaston

Brodyn Knuckey
Source: 1News

The White Ferns have finished their Commonwealth Games on a superb high at Edgbaston, winning a bronze medal in a dominant win over England thanks to a superb performance from captain Sophie Devine.

Facing a short turnaround from their disappointing semi-final defeat to Australia less than 24 hours before, the White Ferns were challenged by the hosts to field first after losing the toss - a daunting thought following their bundle of costly dropped catches the night before.

However, New Zealand appeared to have left the poor showing behind them as they quickly dismantled England's top order with ease.

Danni Wyatt was the first to go in just the second over with Suzie Bates moving to her left at mid-on to remove the English opener for just four runs.

Alice Capsey followed in the next over on a thick edge off Hannah Rowe to Izzy Gaze, departing for five runs.

That saw captain Nat Sciver come to the crease with England at 10/2 and after getting off to a positive start, Devine shut her down for 27 runs by sending the stumps flying.

The White Ferns celebrate a wicket against England in the Commonwealth Games bronze medal match.

With Sophia Dunkley [8], Maia Bouchier [4] and Katherine Brunt [4] all removed in quick succession soon after, the White Ferns had reduced England to just 63/6 with little over eight overs left in the innings.

However, English keeper Amy Jones provided some resistance, grinding her way to 26 runs from 32 deliveries to help England reach 100 runs before she watched another teammate in Sophie Ecclestone depart for 18.

Jones was then dismissed without scoring another run three balls later by Hayley Jensen, before the White Ferns medium pacer added a second wicket to the over with the removal of Issy Wong for a duck.

A late spark from Sarah Glenn saw England post 110 for the innings - a target they would be disappointed by given the situation, but one they'd know was defendable having already bowled the White Ferns' order for just 71 runs earlier in the tournament.

Unlike that pool match though, Devine and fellow opener Suzie Bates got New Zealand off to a superb start with positive play frustrating the English bowlers - a theme that would last throughout the entire innings as the Kiwis didn't waste time in chasing down the target.

Sophie Devine launches the ball against England in the bronze medal match of the Commonwealth Games.

In fact, Bates' attacking play ended up costing her in just the fifth over as she was removed for 20 runs from just 10 balls thanks to a sharp catch by Glenn at short fine leg.

That brought a promoted Goergia Plimmer to the crease but she didn't last long, returning to the clubhouse with just four runs from six balls.

At the other end Devine was punishing the English attack with superb shot selection, dispatching the ball for multiple fours down the ground along with an impressive six way over deep midwicket.

Joined by Melie Kerr with her side 63/2, Devine continued to steer her team towards the bronze medal with more positive play; New Zealand needing just 16 runs from the final 10 overs with eight wickets to spare.

Devine then levelled the scores with another scorching boundary to deep midwicket, bringing up her fifty in the process before winning the match on the next ball in anticlimactic fashion with a dropped catch.

The triumph gives a positive chapter to a testing year for the White Ferns after they missed the semifinals of this year's World Cup on home soil, sparking a drastic string of changes to both management and player selections.