Lea Tahuhu stars as White Ferns against England in third day international match
A devastating, career-best opening spell from rhythm player Lea Tahuhu led the White Ferns to a biting three-wicket victory over England on Wednesday morning (New Zealand time).
Playing a day after a safety alert for the visiting team, Tahuhu won five wickets – including four in his first five overs – as the hosts were sacked for just 178 in the third one-day international of the series in Leicester.
In response, New Zealand hit their goal with 25 balls in hand as they managed to keep the women’s cricket five-game streak alive, reducing the deficit to 2-1 and boosting their confidence despite some worrying moments. in their pursuit as they head to the World Cup to be held here in March-April next year.
Tahuhu, who was playing her 74th ODI after missing the three-game Twenty20 streak between the two teams as she recovered from a skin cancer scare, had been put to good use in the middle of the previous two days. But at Leicester, she shared the new white ball with skipper Sophie Devine before fast debutant Molly Penfold landed in England in new warm waters.
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The 30-year-old’s first five-wicket sack in ODI began when she trapped Tammy Beaumont lbw, thanks to a review by a third referee. She dismissed the other usher, Lauren Winfield-Hill lbw in her next round and trapped opposing captain Heather Knight’s big wicket in her third over, caught by wicket keeper Katey Martin.
Tahuhu beat Sophia Dunkley in her fifth over and completed her run in her second spell bowling Charlie Dean, finishing 5-37 on 10 overs. Her previous best ODI numbers were 4-27 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 2013, while she took 4-59 against Australia in Auckland in 2017, and it was the second best bowling performance in New Zealand. -Zeeland v England in ODI, passed only by Beth McNeil 6 -32 at Lincoln in 2008.
Penfold, a late inclusion on the touring squad when Rosemary Mair was ruled out due to injury, grabbed her first international wicket with a crisp delivery to beat Engand wicket thresher Amy Jones and finished her 10 overs with 2-42.
When Tahuhu caught his fifth scalp, England were in tatters at 78-7 in the 23rd, but Katherine Brunt gave them the opportunity to put some pressure on the New Zealand batting team by taking 49 steps on 98 balls at # 8, putting 53 for the ninth wicket with Kate Cross.
Three days earlier, the White Ferns had also done a great job knocking out the ODI World Champions for the Under-200, but failed to pursue a winning scoreline in Worcester.
Perhaps with that in mind, New Zealand got off to a shaky start in their pursuit, losing the first two games in less than seven overs to Brunt.
However, reliable Amy Satterthwaite teamed up with Maddy Green to form a 72 third-wicket partnership and it was a surprise when she fell for 33 of 54 balls, caught trying to get Dean off the ground.
Devine only lasted 12 balls, played an ugly lift across the line at Brunt, but Green – who was dropped at 22 by Dean’s Sophie Ecclestone in the 18th – got additional support from Brooke Halliday (25 of 38 balls) before another mini-slump kept England in the chase.
Brunt took 4-22 on her 10 overs for a brilliant brace but Green was undefeated at the end on 70 of 106 balls, while Tahuhu capped her winning contribution with a six to end the game as she made an undefeated 19. just 15 deliveries.
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“It was nice to finally cross the finish line,” Devine said shortly after Tahuhu scored the winning points.
“A little tighter than we would like … we are closing the gap with England and heading in the right direction towards the World Cup.”
The fourth game will take place on Friday morning (New Zealand time).
England 178 all out of 48.3 overs (K Brunt 49no; L Tahuhu 5-37) lost to New Zealand 181-7 out of 45.5 overs (M Green 70no, A Satterthwaite 33; Brunt 4-22) through three wickets. England lead the series 2-1.