Knight, who now plays fluently, also instilled confidence in Amy Jones, who had yet to pass 30 in ODI this summer. Jones (40 of 63) teamed up with Knight competently, entering the fold after England lost three wickets for 19 races to put a clean 100 between them, the first century standing between the two sides this summer . A fifty-point partnership between Lauren Winfield-Hill (33 of 46) and Tammy Beaumont (16 of 31) provided a clear start for the first 10 overs before medium-order weaknesses again manifested themselves. New Zealand seamstress Hannah Rowe, pinching the ball to a length was the catalyst, removing four of England’s top five and conceding just 26 points in the process.
By the time Knight left, however, another 50-point partnership was in the sack, this time with Danni Wyatt, who played intensely but calmly for a run-a-ball 27. This England can pull off a historic pursuit despite a time. the questions around the middle order will inspire confidence in a team whose next scheduled series is now against the dominant Australians, at home, in four months.
For English bowlers, it was strange. For the first time in seven ODIs and for the fourth time only in matches where she has played her 10 full overs, Sophie Ecclestone has gone without a wicket. Mental and physical exhaustion may have finally started for the 22-year-old left arm spinner, who endured an unprecedented summer of cricket. What it provided, however, was an opportunity for another to step into the void, which 20-year-old Charlie Dean duly did.
England haven’t been able to settle for a recent spin combination to complete Ecclestone. However, in Dean, they found an athlete with easy, repeatable action, who arcs the ball at high speed to create an unsettling spin and rebound. Almost Ecclestone’s mirror, in fact. Dean now adds three wickets Thursday to his four wicket transport in the second ODI to lead the wicket count with only one game to play.