Amy Jones Leads England to Victory in first ODI against New Zealand

Amy Jones delivered an outstanding performance, scoring an unbeaten 92 to secure a four-wicket victory for England against New Zealand in the first one-day international.

In Wellington, the tourists found themselves in a tough spot, with a score of 79-6. However, they were able to turn things around thanks to an impressive and record-breaking seventh-wicket partnership of 130 runs between Jones and Charlie Dean.

Jones assumed control, delivering a flawlessly executed counter-attacking performance, while Dean maintained composure with a crucial supporting knock of 42 as England secured victory with 8.4 overs remaining.

Dean had previously taken three wickets, making her the fastest woman to reach 50 ODI scalps in just 26 games.

An off-spinner was able to make the first breakthrough following a solid opening partnership of 90 runs between Suzie Bates and Bernadine Bezuidenhout.

Bates had a couple of close calls early on in the match, with two dropped catches and a couple of lucky escapes from lbw and stumping appeals. The outcome could have been different if those decisions were reviewed.

She took full advantage of her good luck to score her 34th ODI fifty, but unfortunately got stumped on the very next ball as the White Ferns collapsed and were all out for 207.

It seemed like a manageable target at the halfway point, but England soon encountered difficulties. In the 17th over, Danni Wyatt’s wicket fell to Amelia Kerr, leaving the visitors with six down and the prospect of defeat.

However, Jones and Dean took action to address the situation, resulting in Heather Knight’s side taking a 1-0 series lead. The teams will now head to Hamilton for the second ODI, which starts at 23:00 BST on Wednesday.

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Impressive comeback for Jones

After struggling to score in the previous T20 matches, Jones made a remarkable comeback when England faced a significant challenge.

The visitors would have been optimistic beginning the chase, but unfortunately lost Tammy Beaumont right at the start. She was bowled by a Jess Kerr full toss just below waist height, and didn’t manage to score any runs.

After enduring an initial setback, England found themselves in a precarious position with the sudden fall of five wickets in just eight overs, three of which came at the cost of only four runs.

Maia Bouchier fell victim to the aggressive bowling of Lea Tahuhu, Alice Capsey was dismissed lbw after failing to connect with a reverse sweep, and Nat Sciver-Brunt was run out while attempting a risky second run on a misfield.

There were clear signs of an England collapse, and New Zealand could sense that the match would soon come to an end with just one more wicket.

However, the wicket never materialized as Jones got down to business. As she and Dean found contentment in their steady progress, Jones skillfully countered the Kiwi bowlers with a series of daring shots.

New Zealand persisted in their efforts until the very end, but the England pair seemed at ease and provided little motivation.

As the runs needed decreased, Jones made a strong push towards the finish line with a series of impressive boundaries. Ultimately, it was Dean who secured the victory with a boundary of her own.

Impressive performance by Cross as England bounce back from early mistakes

Kate Cross showcased her exceptional bowling skills in England’s recent white-ball game at the Basin Reserve.

It was a missed opportunity for the seamer, who could have taken a wicket with her second ball. Bates chipped the ball to mid-on, but unfortunately, Sophie Ecclestone dove over it.

As Bates faced another delivery from Lauren Bell, England chose not to review a lbw decision, leaving the visitors feeling frustrated.

However, Cross maintained a composed approach, skillfully manipulating the ball’s movement and taking advantage of the slightly grassy pitch to make it deviate off the seam.

Despite consistently outperforming the batsmen, she had to be patient until her second spell to finally reap the rewards, as New Zealand’s openers put up a strong resistance against the fresh ball.

Bates and Bezuidenhout found it difficult to score against the England fast bowlers. However, when the spinners came into play, they were able to score more freely. Unfortunately for them, Dean managed to take a wicket, followed by Ecclestone who quickly took the second wicket for New Zealand.

New Zealand found their footing with the help of Amelia Kerr, who took charge as captain for the first time in ODIs, and Georgia Plimmer.

However, Cross made a remarkable comeback to dismiss both of them lbw, triggering a New Zealand collapse of eight wickets for 68 runs.

Despite a setback, Jones and Dean’s contributions prevented England’s bowlers from going unrewarded.

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‘Jones and Dean provide a valuable lesson for all of us’ – reaction

Amy Jones, the player of the match, shared her thoughts on TNT Sports, emphasizing the importance of keeping things simple and staying focused on each ball. It seemed straightforward, but I had a feeling that by doing that, Deano and I would be able to form a strong partnership.

“I made an effort to maintain a positive mindset and trust my abilities when the ball came my way. Appreciate the skillful deliveries that were bowled in the right areas.

“I’ve made some progress in understanding the mindset required for run-chases.” I’ve always recognized the need for improvement in this area, so I’m glad to see that my efforts have been rewarded today.

Heather Knight, the captain of England, expressed her confidence in the team’s position at the halfway stage. The seamers, in particular, delivered an exceptional bowling performance.

“The manner in which [Jones and Dean] skillfully handled the pressure, building a strong partnership and then effectively turning the tables on the Kiwis, serves as a valuable lesson for everyone.”

New Zealand captain Amelia Kerr praised Kate Cross for her impressive bowling performance on that particular wicket. We were unable to effectively counter their unpredictable shifts and diverse tactics.

“We had a great opportunity to score over 250 runs, but when we consider the bowling aspect, if we had taken one more wicket, we might have been able to defend 200.”

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