ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND: 2nd ODI – Good Luck Charlie

Back in June 2019, Bryony Smith made her ODI debut for England. In a rain-affected match at Chelmsford, Smith didn’t get a bat (she was carded to come in at 9) but took 1-20 from 8 overs, as England beat West Indies by 135 runs on D/L.

Following that game, I wrote that then-coach Mark Robinson looked to have found a role for Smith, not as the opening batter everyone thought she was, but as a replacement for the soon-to-retire Laura Marsh – a reliable, economical off-spinner spinner, who offered a bit with the bat as a bonus.

So much for my theories… Smith hasn’t played for England since; while England have continued the search for a long-term spin partner for Sophie Ecclestone, having burned through a number of names in the meantime.

Was perhaps Charlie Dean the answer? You certainly wouldn’t have picked her out at the start of the season – she isn’t even one of the 60-odd “full time” professionals we now have in England. But she obviously impressed Heather Knight, who captained her for London Spirit in The Hundred, and clearly saw something more in her.

Her debut was a solid performance in Bristol – she got hit for a few runs, but the important thing is how you respond to that; and her response today was just the one England would have wanted.

Dean came back into the attack with New Zealand having every prospect of winning the game, despite what felt like a decidedly un-generous Duckworth-Lewis adjustment, that cut the overs available by 16%, but the target by only 8%. I know… I know… it is all statistically proven, taking wickets into account as well as overs, but it still FELT harsh.

But I digress…

New Zealand needed 58 runs from 84 balls, with Katey Martin and Brooke Halliday at the crease – I wouldn’t have put money on the Kiwis at that stage… but equally I’d have been a fool to bet against them. Dean was the obvious bowler for New Zealand to target too – her first two overs had gone for 16; but England had to bowl her, with only 4 specialist bowlers plus Nat Sciver in their lineup.

The pressure was all on Dean in that moment.

And how did she respond?


She bowled her remaining 6 overs straight through, taking 4-20 in the spell: good wickets with good balls, and single-handedly put the game to bed. England simply couldn’t have asked for any more.

Is Charlie Dean the answer to all England’s hopes and prayers? Like the consequences of the French revolution, it is definitely too early too tell. But she has launched her ship on the seas of international cricket, and with a little fortune she could go far.

Good luck, Charlie!

6 thoughts on “ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND: 2nd ODI – Good Luck Charlie

  1. Wonderful performance from Dean – she bowled with skill and heart and did not let a bit of early tap get to her. Bryony Smith as you say is a capable bowler, but Dean looks like another level. It seemed that Devine had her pegged with those slog-sweeps, but she was removed by Sciver, and after that no other NZ batter managed to really work Dean out. That performance from Dean, make no mistake, earned the victory for England in a game that they had no right to win. She probably should have been player of the match. From England being 146-9 and from the Kiwis being 111-4, England should never have won. NZ must be scratching their heads because they’ve grasped defeat from the jaws of victory here, big time. As Devine said after the game, back to the drawing board.

    It’s back to the drawing board for a few of England’s batters, too, because England’s batting performance was in no way good enough or acceptable – lots of soft dismissals, catches in the in-field from mis-hit or poorly selected shots. It was sloppy and disappointing stuff, despite how well NZ (and Rowe) bowled. The exceptions were Wyatt, who remained unbeaten and played beautifully, a plucky Farrant who gave it her all, and an unlucky Winfield-Hill who has done little wrong in these 2 ODIs, being caught with a leg-side strangle then run out by her partner. Despite that remarkable 10th wicket partnership, I had little hope that it would even be close in the chase.

    England bowled extremely well, though, and got better as it went on, with NZ taking advantage of some early width offered. Every bowler played their part and NZ, untroubled by the scoring rate, just fell victim to some tentative strokeplay – and no-one managed to stay in for long enough. They didn’t look like they lacked the belief to win or anything. I don’t actually think the rain delay helped England, as the target was reduced and the revised rate still no issue. Maybe it had the effect of breaking things up and forcing the batters to get back in, but that was about it.

    The England team will breathe a big collective sigh of relief that somehow they squeaked through this one. The fighting spirit is still alive and well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not convinced that Wyatt ran out Winfield as you have suggested. The TV footage shows that Wyatt turns after completing 1 1/2 runs, at which point Winfield has only completed 1 1/4 runs (which is slow given she was the non-striker and probably made Wyatt concerned that a 2nd run was not on). I grant you that the TV footage doesn’t relate what communication was going on – which is the real arbiter of who ran who out and I’d pay for a transcript of what they said to each other when they found themselves at the same end !


    • Yes I’m not sure what happened and cast no aspersions – these things happen. Some may have expected Wyatt as the junior partner at the time to make a move for the striker’s end so Winfield stayed in. But it’s hard to have such clarity of thought sometimes. All turned out well in the end anyway.

      The ongoing security threat situation is very worrying, credible or not. Let’s hope the matches continue to go ahead and all stay safe.


  3. I was having a moan about England’s bowling back when England were batting strong, now they’ve shown some mettle I’m ready to moan about the batting. Hopefully this isn’t a cyclical pattern and the good bowling and batting will sync up and hold steady soon!
    Not the most thrilling game, Charlie Dean’s post-rain spell aside, but still a fun day out at New Road, getting barbecued in the morning then hypothermia by tea – note to self: pack night vision goggles next September.


Comments are closed.