Tammy Beaumont cruises to stylish century as England thrash New Zealand to end summer on a high

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Tammy Beaumont cruises to stylish century as England thrash New Zealand to end summer on a high - GETTY IMAGES
Tammy Beaumont cruises to stylish century as England thrash New Zealand to end summer on a high - GETTY IMAGES

England 347 for five beat New Zealand 144 all out by 203 runs

Good things come to those who wait. For England, it has been a long old summer of waiting, or perhaps building, before pulling out a near perfect performance at the final time of asking.

England’s 203-run thrashing of New Zealand in the fifth and final ODI caps a summer in which England have won every white ball series they have contested.

That they were perhaps expected to do just that is hardly the point; you can only play what’s in front of you. For Tammy Beaumont her century was a crowning moment to a season in which she has never looked out of touch but never quite pushed through.

Falling three runs short in the first T20I at Chelmsford, that three figures would come at Canterbury seemed a likely prospect from the beginning. Her steady stream of boundaries, ten in all, were evenly punctuated throughout the innings. Beaumont didn’t need to accelerate; she was cruising all the way through.

Considering that this was a match in which the number of dropped catches breached double figures, that Beaumont offered none before she departed at the hands of mid-on for a 114-ball 102 was a reflection of her control at the crease.

By then England’s total of 268 was beyond anything that they had managed so far this season. On the final day of the international summer it offered the crowd a chance to revel in an innings where any sense of jeopardy had long since gone.

The standing ovation, or ovations, when Beaumont raised her bat before walking off soon after were as long and affectionate as they come; if you didn’t know that Tammy Beaumont was one of Kent’s own, you did now.

In achieving eight ODI centuries, Beaumont also joins a club of just five other women, only two of whom are still playing. Beaumont is nowhere near nearly done. Nor is Danni Wyatt, whose triumphant return to England’s ODI team has paid off in spectacular fashion, her blistering unbeaten 43 from 20 balls cementing her place as England’s finisher.

Danni Wyatt played a big-hitting cameo for the hosts - GETTY IMAGES
Danni Wyatt played a big-hitting cameo for the hosts - GETTY IMAGES

Wyatt brought up the 300 with the cleanest strike of her four sixes in all, plucking the ball from her hips for it to then ricochet back off the block of flats which line the ground on the mid-wicket boundary.

Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley (33 not out from 25) hit 59 runs from England’s last four overs to bring England’s total to a towering 347, their sixth highest in all.

For England it was the coming together of everything they had long sought. Those batters who had struggled and needed something, anything, got it. A forty-odd to Lauren Winfield-Hill (43 from 57), there or thereabouts for Natalie Sciver (39 from 38) whose highest score this series had been 11 until then, and a first half-century in more than two years for Amy Jones (60 from 46).

For New Zealand, the last day of school feeling quickly set in, so much so we were wondering whether they had bunked off already. The fatigue was visible, the series already lost and no bowler escaped conceding more than six runs per over.

That New Zealand opted for a homogenous attack of right arm medium-something, with just one part-time spinner, was in stark contrast to England’s three spinners of Sophie Ecclestone (2), Charlie Dean (1) and Heather Knight (2), who plucked seven of the ten wickets to fall.

Kate Cross cements her place as England’s seam spearhead, her three-wicket haul also bringing up 50 ODI wickets. And in her maiden ODI series, off-spinner Dean leads the bowling figures as the only England bowler to get ten wickets.

An impressive performance all round; that England’s most comprehensive victory came when their captain, and player of the series, succumbed to a two-ball duck is all the more satisfying still. Bring on Australia.

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