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February 24, 2008
New Zealand (Browne 52, Martin 41, Satterthwaite 36) beat England 138 (Edwards 70*, McNeill 6-32) by 123 runs
Beth McNeill's career-best six wickets got New Zealand's one-day summer off to a flyer with a thumping 123-run win to bring the Ashes winners England crashing back down to earth. Solid contributions with the bat from a depleted New Zealand, shorn of Suzie Bates and the injured Louise Milliken, lifted the home side to 261.
Nicola Browne was the only batsman to reach fifty, but received useful support from her colleagues despite openers Aimee Mason and Ros Kember falling cheaply to Isa Guha. Haidee Tiffen became Guha's third victim and when Jenny Gunn, back from a shoulder injury which forced her to miss the Ashes, removed Sara McGlashan they were in trouble at 56 for 4.
Amy Satterthwaite's 36 inspired the turnaround and then in came Browne who posted only her fourth fifty in 69 ODIs, then again she is primarily a pace bowler. Katey Martin added 41 on her return to international cricket.
England's reply was largely a shambles: apart from Charlotte Edwards' unbeaten 70 and Claire Taylor's 27, nobody reached double figures. Sarah Burke removed the openers Beth Morgan and Sarah Taylor quickly and from then on it was the McNeill show, with her first five-wicket haul in ODIs.
She removed a big gun in Claire Taylor to spark the slide, picking up Lydia Greenway for a duck, Jenny Gunn for a 19-ball 1, Nicky Shaw for 5 and was on a hat-trick removing Rosalie Birch next ball. She finished with Katherine Brunt, who hasn't played any outdoor cricket for months.
Brunt opened the bowling, her ten overs going for a respectable 37 so that is one positive England can take from the opener.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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