Rampant New Zealand on course for series
New Zealand 243 for 2 (Mason 81, McGlashan 97*) England 240 for 3 (Taylor 110*, Edwards 95) by eight wickets
New Zealand are closing in on a series win after an emphatic eight-wicket victory against England under the lights at Derby. Aimee Mason (81) and Sara McGlashan, who made an unbeaten 97, were the chief destroyers as they chased down their target of 241 with more than 12 overs to spare.
Mason and Suzie Bates built a rock-solid platform with an opening stand of 42 inside five overs, and then Mason trowelled on further runs with McGlashan cementing a second-wicket partnership of 161. McGlashan and Haidee Tiffen (19*) then saw them home.
They now have a 2-0 lead heading into the fourth of six matches leaving England in need of winning the next one, at Blackpool this Saturday, to stay in the series.
On a flat pitch with no seam movement or spin runs were there for the taking, but then so were some early chances in New Zealand's innings. Dropped catches - allied to some poor bowling - cost England dearly, although nothing could really be taken away from the performance of an assured New Zealand.
Claire Taylor's century and Charlotte Edwards's unbeaten 95 weren't enough for England. The old firm put on a third-wicket stand of 177, brushing aside the early losses of the openers Sarah Taylor (1) and Jenny Gunn (11), to reach 240 for 3.
Edwards' return from injury showed England just what they had been missing and, after choosing to bat, she just missed out on her fifth one-day century - scoring all round the wicket - as the overs ticked out.
Taylor's 110, her sixth one-day ton, came from 133 balls and included 12 fours. She scored strongly through the off-side and also cut and pulled once she settled. She eventually fell to the part-time medium pace of Haidee Tiffen, who had shuffled her pack before finally bringing herself on as the eighth bowler in the bid to break the deadlock. It worked.
New Zealand's confidence will be ever growing in line with their momentum, but England can take some heart from their batting and Edwards's return. But they will need even more spirit at Blackpool.