England tops women’s T20 tri-series table after mixed day

The format of the tournament means the three teams are all required to play doubleheaders.

Saturday’s results left England two points above its opponents in the tournament standings, although it has played a game more than New Zealand.   -  Getty Images

England ended a day of fluctuating fortunes top of the women’s Twenty20 tri-series table after bouncing back from a defeat by South Africa to beat New Zealand by 54 runs at Taunton.

The format of the tournament means the three teams are all required to play doubleheaders and yesterday it was the turn of England, the women’s World Cup holder in 50-over cricket, to face two fixtures in a day.

South Africa twice conceded new record women’s T20 totals when the competition started on Wednesday, with New Zealand piling up 216 for one, only for England to shatter that mark within hours courtesy of a score of 250 for three.

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But, the Proteas women, having lost both those first two games, hit back on Saturday with a six-wicket win over England at Taunton.

England batted first, but only made 160 for five this time, thanks mainly to Tammy Beaumont’s 71. South Africa lost Laura Wolvaardt early in its chase before Lizelle Lee’s 68 put the Proteas on top.

Sophie Ecclestone took two late wickets to give England a glimmer of hope, but Sune Luus’s excellent 63 not out saw the Proteas home as she ended the match, with three balls to spare, by hitting fast bowler Katherine Brunt for six.

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England, however, returned to winning ways, later, on Saturday, with a victory over New Zealand. Natalie Sciver’s 59 guided England to 172 for eight before left-arm spinner Ecclestone took four for 18 as the White Ferns slumped to 118 all out in reply.

Saturday’s results left England two points above its opponents in the tournament standings, although it has played a game more than New Zealand.

Another round of pool play, with New Zealand playing twice at Bristol on June 28, takes place before the top two sides in the table meet in a final at Chelmsford on July 1.