England’s Amy Jones showed a remarkable shift in her approach, guiding her team to a sensational victory against New Zealand in the opening match of their three-match ODI series in Wellington today. After a string of low scores, England’s Amy Jones made a mindset change that paid dividends in the series opener.

Her unbeaten 92 guided the visitors to victory when the team was at 79/6, sharing a record unbroken 130-run stand with Charlie Dean. Jones’ new mental approach of staying present and not forcing the issue allowed her to bat through the innings, she said.

Incidentally, England had won the preceding T20I series 4-1 against New Zealand. With the three-match ODI series underway, their victory in the first ODI put them 1-0 up. They will look to carry this momentum and potentially clean-sweep the ODI series as well.

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The fight was outstanding: Amy Jones

Jones admitted that she had been falling short in terms of batting through till the end. She worked on her mental game, realizing she didn’t need to force boundaries but just react to each ball. This mindset shift paid heavily in Wellington.

England collapsed to 79/6 chasing 208, with Jones and Dean at the crease now. Along with Dean, who scored an unbeaten 42, Jones stitched together a match-winning (130*) partnership, the highest ever for the seventh wicket in women’s ODIs.

“A tricky situation talks out into, and over the last week, to be honest, I’ve had some good reflections on areas that I want to improve in terms of being there at the end. It’s something that I feel like I’ve fallen short of over some time. So I just put a bit of thought into it, really, a bit of work around my mental game. For that to pay off today, it ranked quite highly, I’d say,” said Jones in a post-match press conference.

“The fight was outstanding. To have them four down and six down for not many I thought gave us a real sniff and we were probably one wicket away from winning that game. Good international teams bat deep and they know how to build partnerships and they absorb pressure and they formed that partnership and unfortunately, we couldn’t find the breakthrough,” Jones added as per ESPNcricinfo.

New Zealand stand-in captain Amelia Kerr praised the England duo’s performances.

“We knew we had to take wickets to win and we did that and then Amy Jones and Charlie Dean had a great partnership and we couldn’t find a way to break it. We’ve got to look at ways how we can break that moving forward, but also you have to say ‘well played’ to them. I thought they were outstanding. Charlie Dean did her role and supported Amy Jones and Amy Jones showed her class and got a big score and it just shows when someone bats through and bats deep, that often wins teams games. Unfortunately, we didn’t have anyone today do that for us,” Amelia Kerr said.

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Kerr lamented her side’s inability to build partnerships after the openers gave them a solid start.

“We didn’t get a big enough partnership with the bat, so that’s a big one for us, We’ve got to be pretty happy with our effort with the ball, especially up top, maybe in the middle, obviously that one wicket, but yeah, I think it’s just partnerships with the bat is key. They showed what you can do when you get yourself in,” she added.

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