England booked an ICC Women’s World Cup semi-final place after Natalie Sciver hit 129 and Alex Hartley took three wickets en route to the hosts claiming a 75-run win over New Zealand in Derby.
The hosts powered into the last four in front of a crowd of over 2,200 spectators in Derby in arguably the tournament’s biggest game so far.
Elsewhere, Australia join England in the semi-finals after an eight-wicket over India led them to ten points, whilst South Africa also qualified with an eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka with 161 balls remaining.
The final-round clash between India and New Zealand in Derby will decide who takes the last semi-final spot, with the winner progressing to the last four. Tickets remain available for this all important winner-takes-all fixture on Saturday 15 July; 10.30am start.
England Captain Heather Knight won the toss and elected to bat first, with Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield opening. Winfield (11) was out in the fourth over and Sarah Taylor (8) soon followed, before Knight was lbw to Suzie Bates for eight, the White Ferns firmly in control with England 52-3.
Beaumont was joined by Natalie Sciver and the pair recovered well for England, quickly reaching their 100 partnership from 111 balls to bring the score up to 152-3.
With the hosts back in control, both looked destined to reach their centuries, but Beaumont could only make 93 before she was caught at mid-off by Lea Tahuhu, ending their partnership at 170 runs.
Sciver batted with control and flare as she reached her century off just 92 balls, including eight fours. England were nicely placed on 232-4 with seven overs remaining, but a flurry of wickets gave New Zealand hope of restricting England to a chasable target.
Fran Wilson was out for ten from as many balls before Sciver’s game-changing innings came to an end on 129 from 111 balls when she was caught by Amy Satterthwaite from the bowling of Amelia Kerr.
Katherine Brunt (9) and Anya Shrubsole (0) were both dismissed in the final overs as England posted 284-9 from their 50 overs.
The England bowlers got off to a good start as Shrubsole claimed the wicket of Rachel Priest for 12 in the second over. But New Zealand quickly recovered as Bates and Satterthwaite formed a strong partnership to take them past 50 after 13 overs.
But England were soon back in control as Sarah Taylor stumped Bates off Hartley just six shy of her half century, putting New Zealand at 89-2.
Satterthwaite followed just three overs later as she was caught and bowled by Laura Marsh for 35, before the destructive Sophie Devine was out just after the halfway stage.
Erin Bermingham (19) and Kasperek (3) were both quickly dismissed thanks to Jenny Gunn, before Kerr was run out without scoring to leave New Zealand needing 115 runs with 13 overs remaining and only two wickets in hand.
New Zealand climbed to 206 runs, with Katie Perkins making 43 alongside Tahuhu. But Tahuhu (11) was next to go, before Hartley took the final wicket and claimed victory for England, New Zealand all out for 209, falling 76 runs short in their chase.
Tickets are available for all games in Derby, with prices starting from just £10 for adults. Tickets can be purchased online via icc-cricket.com/tickets.
For more information about ICC Women’s World Cup, please call 01332 388 101 or email [email protected].