England captain Nat Sciver admitted her side got what they deserved after a batting capitulation against New Zealand ended their hopes of salvaging bronze from cricket’s Commonwealth Games debut.
The hangover from an agonising four-run semi-final loss to India on Saturday still loomed large as England crawled to 110-9 from their 20 overs with Sciver’s 27 and 26 for wicket-keeper Amy Jones the only contributions of note.
Sciver’s counterpart Sarah Devine stole the show for the White Ferns, taking 2-11 with the ball before bludgeoning an unbeaten 51 off 40 to help her side onto the podium with an eight-wicket win barely 12 hours after their own demoralising defeat to Australia.
While it was a Devine day for New Zealand, Sciver’s stiff Sunday was encapsulated by her drop off the final ball of the game which allowed her opposite number to take New Zealand home.
After crumbling to 63-6, England never looked like turning it into the competitive contest this home crowd of nearly 17,000 deserved.
In fact, they barely got value for money as New Zealand knocked off the runs with 49 balls to spare, one ball more than it took England to hammer them in the group stage on Thursday, a result well and truly avenged here.
Sciver said: “It’s very disappointing but the way that we played today we didn’t deserve to get a medal so it’s easier to take than yesterday.”
This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.
Her wife Katherine Brunt, 37, refused to confirm if this would be her last game in an England shirt but wiped away tears knowing there would be no second chance for her at a Commonwealth medal.
“I don’t know. I need to reflect and get up and play the Hundred in two days which is savage but that’s sport. I need to see where I’m at and what my next goal is,” said Barnsley’s Brunt, who bowled three wides in her second over to set a sloppy tone in the field.
“It felt like the actual whole country was behind us and we are sad we let them down. We couldn’t quite do it.
“I’m gutted, we are a lot better than that. We are a finalist team. It’s my one and only shot at that and I’m taking it quite badly. I’m exhausted, I gave it everything I’ve got.”
England elected to bat but lost wickets at regular intervals, only a partnership of 38 from 37 between hometown hero Jones and Sophie Ecclestone took them past three figures.
That small total looked even more insignificant when New Zealand came out all guns blazing.
Devine and Suzie Bates’ opening stand of 54 came at a scintillating strike rate of 200 and even though Sciver removed Bates for 20 and Freya Kemp got Georgia Plimmer for four, they got home at a canter as Amelia Kerr supported her skipper with 21 not out from 15 balls.
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