Daily Digest: Ellen White scores a hat-trick as England thrash Northern Ireland 6-0

Ellen White

In today’s news, Hege Riise starts with a win, England show promising signs against New Zealand and a huge moment for women’s cricket as the schedule for the Hundred is announced.

Ellen White stars in convincing England win over Northern Ireland

Manchester City striker Ellen White scored a hat-trick as England thrashed Northern Ireland by six goals to nil in Hege Riise’s first game as interim coach.

In a dominant display, the hosts controlled possession from the outset while handing debuts to four players in Sandy MacIver, Ebony Salmon, Charlotte Wubben-Moy and Ella Toone.

White’s treble was accompanied by goals from Lucy Bronze and Rachel Daly, while Captain Jill Scott, celebrating her 150th international appearance, chose not to take a penalty won by Chloe Kelly, instead handing the responsibility to debutant Toone, who scored her first goal in an England shirt.

Jill Scott

Northern Ireland failed to register a shot the entire match, but will take some positives from the game, especially the performances of Becky Flaherty in goal and Abbie Magee at right-back.

Attention for Kenny Shiels’ side now turns to European qualification in April, with their opponents still yet to be confirmed.

Women’s fixture to contest opening game of The Hundred this summer

The first game of the ECB’s new flagship limited-overs competition,The Hundred, will be contested by two women’s sides as the Oval Invincibles take on the Manchester Originals in a standalone match.

While the majority of matches throughout the tournament will be double-headers, with both men’s and women’s teams playing on the same day at the same venue, the opening fixture will see the women take centre stage on 21st July at the Kia Oval, before the same men’s sides compete the following day.

The competition had been scheduled to launch last year but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and squads for both the men and women have now been re-drafted.

England spinner Sophie Ecclestone, who was picked up by the Manchester Originals, said: "The thought of making history and potentially bowling the first ball of The Hundred is really exciting."

The women’s final will take place at Lords on Saturday, 21st August, with tickets going on sale for all matches through a priority window on 7th April.

England beat New Zealand by eight wickets in series opener

England comprehensively defeated New Zealand with 15 overs to spare in their first one-day international since December 2019.

Having suffered a loss in their final warm-up game to a New Zealand XI side, this was a much-improved performance by England, who bowled out the White Ferns in little over 45 overs before making light work of the reply.

While England have often been accused of relying too heavily on certain bowlers — Shrubsole and Ecclestone, in particular — the wickets today were shared around each of the seven bowlers used.

England women cricket

Tash Farrant, playing in her first ODI since 2013, was the stand-out for England, taking 2-31 from seven overs, while Nat Sciver claimed the prize wicket of Sophie Devine.

In response, the run-chase never looked in doubt, as Tammy Beaumont top-scored with 72 and Captain Heather Knight finished 67 not out, with England securing victory with 98 balls remaining.

The second game of the three-match series is on Thursday at Dunedin.

Team Bath continue unbeaten start with win over Wasps

Team Bath maintained their winning start to this year’s Netball Superleague as they narrowly defeated a strong Wasps team 44-39.

The win moves Bath into the outright lead at the top of the table on nine points, with six teams trailing behind them on six points apiece.

Wasps put on a spirited display and were the better team in the second half, but Bath’s strength in depth was telling, and a starring performance by Sophie Drakeford-Lewis helped the league leaders see out the win.

In the night’s other match, Surrey Storm registered their second victory of the campaign with a 42-34 win over the Celtic Dragons. The Dragons are still winless so far, while the Storm now move up to 6th in the table.

Tiffany Porter included in Great Britain squad but Asher-Smith and Johnson-Thompson miss out

World Championship medallist Tiffany Porter has been included in Great Britain's 41-person squad for the European Indoor Championships in Poland next month.

The 33-year-old, who represented the United States as a junior, won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Moscow in 2013 for the 100 metre hurdles. Porter also took home silver at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and a gold at the European Championships that same year.

Two names that will not feature in Poland are Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Asher-Smith is battling a quad injury and aims to be back for the outdoor season, beginning in May, while Johnson-Thompson is currently sidelined with an achilles problem, but hopes to return to training next month.

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