COMMONWEALTH GAMES: England v New Zealand – New Zealand Bold As Bronze

New Zealand thoroughly deserved their bronze medals in the play-off match at the Commonwealth Games, after restricting England to one of their lowest 1st innings totals in the history of T20 internationals.

Not to put too fine a point on it: New Zealand looked like they wanted the medals… England looked like they wanted to be somewhere else.

Having lost to England in the last match of the group stages, and been well beaten by Australia in their semi-final last night, with barely 12 hours between leaving the stadium last night and needing to be back here this morning, it wouldn’t have been surprising if it was New Zealand who looked tired and flat. That they came out fighting is credit to their leadership team.

The same cannot be said of England.

England talk a lot about being role models, but after one player was given an official reprimand yesterday for swearing on the field of play, the overriding image of England today was another being shown live on TV, smashing over a chair with her bat on her way back to the dressing room after being dismissed.

We can ask the question as to whether these bronze medal matches are needed or required – other sports in other tournaments just award both of the defeated semi-finalists a “shared” bronze medal – but everyone knew the deal coming into this tournament; and whilst frustrations do sometimes spill over for all of us – me very much included – we also sometimes need to accept that we’ve let ourselves down, front-up and apologise – not for losing in this case, but for losing badly with ill-grace.

The sight of the New Zealand players celebrating with selfies down on the outfield after the game, on the other hand, was lovely to see.

With a new coach and a new-look to their lineup, little was expected from the White Ferns at these Commonwealth Games. Getting to the semi-finals was probably over-par, after a slightly disappointing home World Cup, and so to come home with bronze medals was a fantastic achievement.

Although England were poor by their own standards, they did at least set New Zealand a chase that potentially made it interesting. It doesn’t happen a lot, but matches do occasionally get won by teams making less than 120 in the first innings, so it wasn’t quite a foregone conclusion. But the positive intent shown by Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates up top put New Zealand quickly in the driving seat. By the end of the powerplay they were over half way there, and Devine was able to push on to hit the winning run in the 12th over just after bringing up her half century.

It is probably just as well for England that we’ve got The Hundred coming up hot on our heels right now – there will be no time for the players to brood over the disappointment of the Commonwealths, but instead the chance to reset in a different environment, with different team-mates and different coaches. There will be some tough decisions for the management team to make ahead of the India series in September, but those decisions are for another day.

Right now, let’s just congratulate New Zealand and hope for a brilliant final between Australia and India this evening.


4 thoughts on “COMMONWEALTH GAMES: England v New Zealand – New Zealand Bold As Bronze

  1. Agree, best to park this trash performance as soon as possible and move on. Worst display from England since those dodgy early group stages of the WWC. When you bat that badly, it doesn’t matter how well you bowl, and when you bowl that poorly, it doesn’t matter how well you bat. Both applied – England were terrible, I think in fairness carried over from the disappointment of the close loss to India yesterday.

    The worrying thing was, instead of refocusing and professionally attempting to make amends, as NZ did, some England players let their annoyance get the better of them. England just weren’t up for it. They produced a very poor display as a result, almost childish in its insolence at times. OK we know it matters to them, but there were a couple of things that were just out of line. It was a real let-down on all fronts.

    The opening partnership hasn’t worked – Dunkley in particular needs to work on her game against spin, she was completely done by the Kerr googly. Ecclestone and Brunt had a poor 2 final games, and didn’t deal with the immediate fallout well. This was the biggest shame for me. Plus points were Capsey and Kemp, and Jones finding some form. And as some say – it’s only T20 – most sides, even good ones, lose occasionally.

    Come September some changes may need to be made, because India will easily beat us with this sort of display. We need Knight back, and solid plans against Mandhana and Sneh Rana. Let’s see what happens in the meantime. For now, go the Hundred I guess.

    Hoping against hope for a good India performance tonight.


  2. I’m glad you said it Syd, I was about to in a slightly stronger tone, but you saved me!
    In the current climate of “legacy” and “encouraging girls to take part in sport” the poor language of Katherine Brunt and rage/abuse directed to the team mates after fielding errors does not quite fit that prophecy? Did anyone have a dig at her for numerous wides in the match today? Then Sophie Ecclestone, I must admit out of character, smashing the chair it did not look good at all!
    A public apology by both may go a little way to resolve this?

    In summary, it was two games too far for a good, competitive youthful England team which have shown good signs for the future.

    But remember, be graceful in defeat……..even though they are easy words!!


  3. I’ve had breakfast of my hat, plus a slice of humble pie 🙂 Didnt expect that and still dont expect a repeat if there was a bilateral series. Tournament cricket, hey?

    Can see why it meant a lot more to the White Ferns with the long record of failing (this was first time in semis since 2016!). And it doesn’t paper over the deep cracks in the women’s game here from top to bottom. It was just a nice tribute from the team to Bates and Devine (and Satterthwaite and Martin in the stands, that was so moving).

    England weren’t their best – a little credit though to NZ who did play well and kept the pressure on to bring mistakes. Why oh why Hannah Rowe hasnt bowled more, we dont know

    England look on track to challenge Australia, to me. White Ferns are on track to fall back further unfortunately, as they shed good proven players and replace with potential. So this is an aberration I think – but an enjoyable one for now

    (And – is it karma for putting a special ‘medal pocket’ in the jackets? That will be brought up by Sophie Devine a bit I think 🙂 )


  4. I don’t laud players by name so I won’t criticise players by name (because I’m not a journalist, rather a mere boundary observer) ……. but let’s not beat about the bush, this was a disaster (yesterday and today).

    It was a disaster because football (the other week) and hockey (today) put their sport into the spotlight. Make no mistake there is competition amongst sports to attract players.

    It was a disaster because of way England lost, not because they lost. This wasn’t brave performances against superior oppositions. It wasn’t a rear guard against all odds. It was a shambles. The performances and attitudes were perhaps best illustrated by sending down 12 wides in just under 12 overs when defending only 110 – and yes it is crap of me to focus on a bowling failure when the batting and several other aspects were lamentable.

    The players will be gutted and I feel so so sorry for them (although I am delighted for Sophie Devine – a real warrior and so deserving of this success).

    England have an India series to start to address some of these issues – and India have their own set of issues (such as snatching defeat from the jaws of victory …… but that silver medal will still shine a lot brighter than any England player’s smiles even if England win the India series).


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