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England reclaimed Fortress Chelmsford with a vengeance, hitting their highest T20 score against New Zealand – 184 for four – before bowling out their opponents for 138 in 18.5 overs to finish with a huge 46-run win.

Two years ago, England were subject to an onslaught from the mighty Meg Lanning here. Tammy Beaumont’s 97 from 65 balls – her fourth half-century of the international summer – meant England doled out a taste of that same medicine.

Beaumont fell agonisingly short of bringing up a second T20I hundred, caught trying to ramp Hayley Jensen off the penultimate ball of the innings, but the damage had already been done.

“It would have been nice to pass a personal milestone, but that’s my highest T20 score in a long time,” Beaumont said. “I felt in good form in the Hundred but felt like I kept giving my wicket away. I wanted to make sure I batted through a bit longer but once I got to 50, I just started having fun.”

In reply, New Zealand lost Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates early. Devine fell leg-before to Tash Farrant, while Bates’s first international innings since October 2020 lasted five balls as Katherine Brunt’s cross-seamer took out her leg stump, leaving the Kiwis four for two in the third.

Amy Satterthwaite plugged away as wickets fell at the other end, but when she fell to a brilliant diving catch by Mady Villiers at deep midwicket in the 13th over, seven short of a half-century, the match was in effect over.

England were missing their captain, Heather Knight, sitting out with a hamstring injury, but scarcely felt her absence. Her stand-in, Nat Sciver (14 off 16), effortlessly lofted the first six of the match over long-off in the eighth over, before Amy Jones (31 off 15) joined Beaumont at the crease to propel a flurry of boundaries as the 12th and 13th overs went for 18 runs apiece.

Jones was stumped by Katey Martin in the next over but Sophia Dunkley, promoted in Knight’s absence, continued the onslaught, racking up 23 off 17 balls and running hard between the wickets. The debutant Emma Lamb, on the card at six, did not even get to face a ball.

Devine conceded 12 runs from her opening three overs, but also handed England several lives – including putting down Beaumont on 26 off her own bowling and shelling Dunkley at cover. “We were probably a little bit rusty,” she said of her team’s performance.