Devine stars as New Zealand beat England to level T20 series

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‘Two in two!’ – Devine dismisses Sciver and Jones
Second Twenty20, The 1st Central County Ground, Hove
England 127-7 (20 overs): Wyatt 35 (29); Rowe 2-12, Kasperek 2-20
New Zealand 128-6 (18.2 overs): Devine 50 (41), Green 21 (19)
New Zealand won by four wickets

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine celebrated her 100th international Twenty20 appearance with a match-winning half-century to set up a four-wicket victory over a sloppy and lacklustre England at Hove.

Chasing 128 to win, Devine, who also took 2-28 with the ball, made 50 from 41 balls, to leave her side needing just 28 from 34 balls to set up a series decider.

An excellent Mady Villiers catch dismissed her, before the off-spinner took a superb return catch and another on the boundary – but the White Ferns made it over the line with 10 balls to spare.

Earlier, England stuttered to 127-7 from their 20 overs, with opener Danni Wyatt making an assured 35, while debutant Maia Bouchier – who came in for Emma Lamb – showed promise with a well-made 25.

The final game in the three-match series is on Thursday at Taunton.

Devine stars on landmark appearance

Sophie Devine's T20 international record: appearances 100, runs 2,526, average 29.71, strike-rate 123.9, wickets 96, average 17.53

Where do you start with Devine? Whether it is with the bat, ball or in the field she more or less always finds a way to influence the game.

After claiming the key wickets of Nat Sciver and Amy Jones in successive balls, her display with the bat saw her at her dominant, powerful best.

Devine, who has also represented New Zealand in hockey, was typically strong over the leg-side – hitting hit four massive sixes, including one out of the ground – as she took apart England’s below-par total.

The 32-year-old, who took a break from the game for mental health reasons in March, was dropped on 25 by Sarah Glenn at short fine leg, and capitalised on that to give her side the platform to win the game.

Her dismissal prompted a collapse of four wickets for 24 runs, but her side were always ahead of the game thanks to her efforts with the bat.

A delighted Devine said: “Winning is a habit. There were some nerves, but we had full confidence the girls would get the job done.

“We know we’re growing and it is nice to put it all together, and to bounce back quickly from the first game.”

More to follow.