|New Zealand 96 (19.4 overs): Martin 36 (32)|
|England 99-3 (16.0 overs): Wyatt 33 (26), Sciver 26* (25), Beaumont 25 (31)|
|England won by seven wickets; lead series 1-0|
England thrashed New Zealand by seven wickets to take a 1-0 series lead in the first Twenty20 in Wellington.
The tourists’ bowlers took regular wickets to dismiss the White Ferns for just 96, with two balls to spare.
England openers Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt put on 59 in just 8.3 overs before both fell, while captain Heather Knight was run out for a duck.
But Nat Sciver and Amy Jones easily guided their side to 99-3, with four overs to spare.
The rest of the three-match series will now all take place in Wellington, with all games held behind closed doors.
The second T20 on Friday had already been moved from Auckland because of new coronavirus lockdown measures.
The third T20 on Sunday has been moved from Mount Maunganui because of scheduling complications with the New Zealand men’s T20 series against Australia.
Sciver stars with bat and ball
All-rounder Sciver (2-28) dismissed White Ferns captain Sophie Devine with her first delivery for two, before removing Amy Satterthwaite for the same score in her second over, leaving the Kiwis 10-2.
England’s spinners then came to the fore as leg-spinner Sarah Glenn (2-11) dismissed opener Hayley Jensen, before world number one T20 bowler Sophie Ecclestone (2-18) removed Amelia Kerr caught and bowled and had Brooke Halliday stumped by wicketkeeper Amy Jones.
Glenn then bowled Maddy Green to leave the hosts really struggling on 61-6 in the 14th over.
Fast bowler Katherine Brunt (2-13) returned to remove Thamsyn Newton and ended the resistance of Katey Martin, who hit 36 off 32 balls, as Jones completed her second stumping, before Jess Kerr was run out to end the White Ferns’ innings.
In reply, Beaumont continued her fine form with 25 off 31 balls, while Wyatt rediscovered her touch after a lean one-day international series, with an entertaining 33 off 26 balls, including four fours.
“I approach T20 completely differently – Heather told me to play with freedom and I thought the way to play was to be attacking and it came off,” said Wyatt.
“Over the last 12 months we’ve not had the starts we’ve wanted so me and Tammy wanted to provide a good platform and I’m chuffed we did that.”
Both were caught off Leigh Kasperek and Jess Kerr ran out Knight with a direct hit shortly after, but England were already in a strong enough position on 67-3 in the 11th over.
Sciver ensured there would be no further wobble as she struck 26 not out off 25 balls, including three fours, while Jones calmly added an unbeaten 12 as they put on a stand of 32 to see England home with ease.
“There were small glimpses from us but we’ve got to put it together for longer periods, we were completely outplayed,” said Devine.
“England are an outstanding outfit with bat and ball, but we’ve been well under par.”