Cricket: White Ferns lose captain Sophie Devine to injury, drop Twenty20 series to England

Maddy Green is caught out by England wicketkeeper Amy Jones.
Maddy Green is caught out by England wicketkeeper Amy Jones. Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand have slumped to a Twenty20 series defeat to England, after losing captain Sophie Devine to injury in the field at Wellington's Basin Reserve.

After winning the toss and putting the tourists into bat, the White Ferns had no answer to opener Maia Bouchier, who continued her fine form with 91 runs off 56 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes.

Their hopes sufffered a major blow, when Devine hobbled off with a quad injury and her involvement in the series finale on Friday in doubt. Against a depleted bowling attack, the England women piled on 105 runs over their final 10 overs and 65 over the final five to set a formidable target.

Without Devine - their most damaging batter - New Zealand were always on the backfoot and were in even deeper trouble, when veteran opener Suzie Bates offered a simple catch in just the second over.

Fellow opener Bernadine Bezuidenhout (23), Amelia Kerr (21) and Brooke Halliday (25) all made starts, but failed to provide the lasting foundation needed for such a daunting chase.

Inevitably, the tailenders were left to bat out their 20 overs without any hope of overhauling England's score, falling 47 runs shot.

"Probably just a small niggle," assessed Devine. "We've just looking ahead, with the one-dayers really important and ICC ranking points.

"I probably wanted to get back out there, but someone with more of a rational brain kept me off.

"We were really poor in the field and when you get opportunities, you need to take them and we didn't do that today. If we take those chances, it could be a very different story."

England hold an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series, with the final encounter scheduled for Wellington on Friday. Beyond that, the two teams will face off in a three-match one-day series.

England 177/3 (Bouchier 91, Sciver-Brunt 29no, Capsey 25; Mair 1/28, Jonas 1/39, A Kerr 1/42) NZ 130/7 (Halliday 25, Bezuidenhout 23, A Kerr 21; Dean 4/26)

England win by 47 runs, lead series 3-1