Maia Bouchier smashes 91 as England Women seal T20 series victory

By Sports Desk March 26, 2024

Maia Bouchier defied injury to hit 91 as England Women outpowered New Zealand to win the fourth T20 international in Wellington by 47 runs and clinch the series.

Bouchier’s 91 off 56 balls, her second successive half-century, helped England to 177 for three, Charlie Dean taking four wickets as New Zealand were restricted to 130 for seven.

England lost Danni Wyatt, back in the side after playing in the Women’s IPL, early but Alice Capsey and Bouchier – hampered by a quad injury – added 75 in 10 overs.

Captain Heather Knight (21 not out) and Nat Sciver-Brunt (29 not out) smashed 35 off the final 14 balls to set the hosts a daunting target.

That target was made more daunting without captain Suzie Bates, injured in the field, and England struck at regular intervals.

Dean grabbed four for 26, and Brooke Holliday was at the top scoring, with 25 for the hosts.

The win gives England an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series, which concludes in Wellington on Friday.

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    A thumping 3-0 T20 International series sweep over South Africa propelled West Indies up the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings into fourth place, ahead of the much-anticipated T20 World Cup.

    Despite missing a few big faces, West Indies managed to sweep the series, and that along with the rise in rankings should provide a significant boost to the confidence of the Darren Sammy-coached side heading into the June 1-29 showpiece to be hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

    With the series win, West Indies (254 rating points), the champions of the 2012 and 2016 editions of the T20 World Cup, are at the fourth place in the list led by 2007 champions India (264 rating points), with 2021 champions Australia (257 rating points) and defending champions England (254 rating points) at the second and third place respectively.

    There were individual bright spots for West Indies in the series, who gained substantially in the T20I Player Rankings. This included stand-in skipper Brandon King, whose 159 runs helped him jump up five places to the eighth position in the Men’s T20I Batting Rankings.

    His opening partner, Johnson Charles, who hit a blistering 69 from 26 balls in a Player of the Match performance in the third game of the series, gained 17 spots to reach the 20th place.

    Meanwhile, Kyle Mayers (31st place in Batting Rankings) and Gudakesh Motie (27th place in Bowling Rankings) were the other beneficiaries from the recently concluded series.

    These results bode well for the Men in Maroon, who will be looking for a record third title during their home T20 World Cup. They are placed in Group C along Afghanistan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda.

    They start their campaign against Papua New Guinea in Guyana on Sunday.

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    India -264 points

    Australia - 257 points

    England - 254 points

    West Indies  - 252 points

    New Zealand  - 250 points

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    South Africa stand-in Captain Rassie van der Dussen gave his West Indian counterparts all the praise in the world after his side suffered a dominant 0-3 defeat in their three T20Is from May 23-26 at Sabina Park in Kingston.

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