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Women’s Cricket England hit New Zealand for six in rain-affected T20 match

HEATHER KNIGHT believes England embracing the “chaos” in a rain-affected shootout against New Zealand at Hove augurs well for the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in the autumn.

In a contest initially reduced to nine overs per side after the start was delayed by two hours, England racked up five sixes, with Alice Capsey clearing the rope twice and Nat Sciver-Brunt hammering Lea Tahuhu out of the ground with one monster hit.

Responding to a total of 89 for six, New Zealand slipped to 42 for five after 6.4 overs before another downpour proved terminal as England ran out winners by 23 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.

While England move 2-0 up in a five-match series which resumes in Canterbury on Thursday, Knight sees the bigger picture of October’s World Cup, where similar situations could unfold.

“This was practice of being under pressure and having a bit of chaos,” she said at the presentation ceremony. “You have to stay calm and make quick decisions and I thought we did that brilliantly.

“Those wickets we took really killed the game. It’s something we’re incredibly good at, hitting boundaries, but we also kept the scoreboard moving and got up to a good score.”

Lauren Bell justified her inclusion as England went with the extra seamer after selecting four spinners in their series-opening win at the Rose Bowl on Saturday by snaring New Zealand captain Sophie Devine.

There was also a wicket for Sciver-Brunt, who later spilled Brooke Halliday over the rope for New Zealand’s only maximum. But Charlie Dean had Halliday lbw before Suzie Bates reverse swept the off-spinner to Sarah Glenn later in the over.

Dean was awarded player of the match, which she admitted was “a bit of burglary,” with Capsey top-scoring for England with 28 off 15 balls and taking a couple of important catches in the chase.

Maia Bouchier earlier set the tone with a six in the first over of the match in her 23 off 15 deliveries, while Sophie Ecclestone ended the innings with a flourish, hammering the only ball she faced over long-on.

“The depth we have makes it easier for our top-order batters to go out and play like they do, there’s no real fear of getting out because we do bat so deep,” Dean added.

“Sophie hitting a six off the one ball she faced is an example of that.”

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