Edwards guides England to tense victory
England 234 for 9 beat New Zealand 231 for 8 by 1 wicket
England's women squeaked home to a one-wicket victory in the final over of the first one-day international against New Zealand at Taunton. After half-centuries from Maria Fahey and Sophie Devine had taken New Zealand to 231 for 8, Charlotte Edwards anchored England's chase with 70 before she was dismissed in the midst of a late collapse. But Katherine Brunt sealed the game when she cracked a boundary off Devine with three balls remaining.
England had stumbled at the beginning of their chase too, slipping from 72 for 1 to 79 for 4 in the space of three overs before Edwards and Jenny Gunn combined in a 48-run fifth wicket stand. After Gunn departed for a run-a-ball 31, Laura Marsh picked up the mantle and she and Edwards took England past 200 with a rapid 81-run partnership.
But after Amy Satterthwaite snared Marsh, Nicola Browne steamed in to bowl Danielle Hazell in the 47th over. England were 224 for 8 when Edwards was run out in the next over, and Browne then had Holly Colvin caught by Aimee Watkins with just five runs still needed from the last seven balls. Crucially, Brunt snatched a single from the final delivery of the 49th over to keep the strike, and then pushed Devine for two before sealing the win with a boundary.
England's bowling effort was built around the good work of Brunt and and Jenny Gunn. New Zealand had worked themselves into a good position with Fahey and Satterthwaite sticking together to reach 104 for 2 by the 25th over but two wickets fell in quick succession as England clawed back. Satterthwaite offered Gunn a chance off Colvin before Sara McGlashan fell one over later run out with Gunn again in the thick of the action.
It brought Devine to the crease and together with Fahey the pair added 42 over the next 10 overs. Needing a breakthrough Edwards turned to her strike bowler Brunt, who duly delivered by castling Fahey for a patient 61. Brunt struck again three balls later, rattling the stumps of Browne to leave New Zealand wobbling on 148 for 6.
Thereafter Devine took control hammering four fours and two sixes to reach her fifty of 62 balls before falling to Laura Marsh. The tail rallied, with Lucy Doolan and Rachel Priest pushing the score up to 231 but it wasn't enough.
"I'm really pleased to get the series off to a winning start," said Edwards. "Katherine put in a fantastic bowling performance and there were some good contributions from the batters. I always enjoy batting here, I was pleased to get a good score today, I'm looking forward to coming back on Monday."