Natalie Sciver’s hat-trick and five wickets from stand-in skipper Jenny Gunn put England in the Women’s Twenty20 Tri-Series final by virtue of a 19-run win over New Zealand.
Like Gunn’s 5-18, Sciver’s 4-21 represented her best international figures as the White Ferns were dismissed for 106 in 20 overs at Bridgetown, Barbados. England will contest Saturday’s showpiece against hosts West Indies, whom they also face in Thursday’s last remaining round-robin game.
Sciver’s three-in-three came in the second half of the penultimate over before Gunn struck twice in the over last as six wickets fell for four runs.
Sciver also impressed with the bat, her 21-delivery 23 building on Danni Wyatt’s run-a-ball 37 to set up a total of 125 for eight after Gunn, leading in place of the injured Charlotte Edwards, won the toss.
Following a 15-minute delay due to floodlight problems, the new opening partnership of Wyatt and Lauren Winfield progressed smoothly until the latter skied a top edge behind off Nicola Browne.
Wyatt and Sarah Taylor scored freely but, soon after a short rain delay, Rachel Candy had Taylor caught behind with a ball that appeared to keep low. In the next over Erin Bermingham trapped Lydia Greenway in front.
After Tammy Beaumont was run out, trying to take a second run to deep backward square-leg, Wyatt and Sciver prospered for four overs until the former was caught behind off Sian Ruck via a scoop.
That started a slide of four wickets for six runs, Morna Nielsen bowling Gunn and Sciver before Ruck had Amy Jones caught behind, but Holly Colvin’s nine-ball 16 not out added late ballast.
New Zealand captain and Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite began the chase confidently and, once Gunn had Satterthwaite held in the deep in the fifth over, Sophie Devine combined well with Bates.
However, tight bowling from Colvin increased the required rate to more than eight an over and the pressure told when Devine, on 25, top-edged a return catch to Sciver.
Outstanding glovework from Taylor saw Rachel Priest stumped off Tash Farrant before Bates, having launched a huge six, holed out off Gunn for 46.
Sciver’s hat-trick featured the wickets of Maddie Green, Bermingham and Frances Mackay, the latter lbw, and earned her the match award ahead of Gunn.
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