Amy Jones revealed a mental refresh following a recent run drought lay behind her match-winning 92 not out for England as they battled back to beat New Zealand in Wellington.

England lurched to 79 for six after 17 overs chasing 208 in the first ODI but Jones and Charlie Dean put on an unbroken 130 as the tourists sealed a four-wicket victory with 52 balls to spare.

It was a spectacular return to form for Jones – who made just 23 runs in four innings in the T20 series, albeit helping England over the line in the final match on Friday with a brief cameo – while she was without an international fifty in 28 innings across all formats dating back to December 2022.

But the 30-year-old wicketkeeper-batter feels decluttering her mind and getting back to basics allowed her to shine as England moved into a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

“Over the last week, I’ve had some good reflections on areas that I want to improve in terms of being there at the end, it’s something I feel like I’ve fallen short at over a period of time,” Jones said.

“Recognising where my mind was going in those past situations and there was definitely an element of feeling like I needed to force a boundary and get ahead of the rate.

“I don’t need to do that, I play at my best when I’m reacting to the ball and that doesn’t change depending on the situation.

“Me and Deano were constantly saying ‘one ball at a time’ and ‘just react’, which kept us in the moment. For that to pay off, (this innings) ranks quite highly I’d say.”

Charlie Dean became the fastest woman to reach 50 ODI wickets (Joe Giddens/PA)
Charlie Dean became the fastest woman to reach 50 ODI wickets (Joe Giddens/PA)

Dean took three for 57 en route to becoming the fastest woman to 50 ODI wickets as New Zealand crumbled from 90 without loss to 207 all out in the 49th over.

After England’s top-order wobble, Dean proved a useful foil for Jones with an unbeaten 42 off 70 deliveries, contributing just one four, compared with 10 from Jones in a superb 83-ball innings.

But the pair dovetailed excellently as they put on the highest ever partnership for the seventh wicket or lower in women’s ODIs. The teams will now head to Hamilton for the remaining two ODIs.

“Walking out, I just wanted to start my innings, as I would in any situation, trying to build a partnership but be positive, knowing that the required run-rate wasn’t high,” Jones said.

“To get that win was huge for us and under tricky circumstances, the whole batting group will get a lot of confidence from how we managed to get over the line.”