Sunday 24 February 2008 

Edwards Half-Century In Vain As England Open With Loss

New Zealand Women 261-9 (Browne 54, Martin 42, Guha 3-47)
England Women 138 (Edwards 70no, McNeill 6-32)
New Zealand won by 123 runs and lead the five-match series 1-0

Captain Charlotte Edwards scored an unbeaten 70, but England Women still crashed to a humbling 123-run defeat at the hands of New Zealand Women in the first One Day International in Lincoln.

New Zealand recovered from a shaky start to post 261 for nine before England were bowled out for just 138 in 40.3 overs.

England had the better of the early exchanges, Isa Guha taking three wickets as the White Ferns found themselves in trouble at 56 for four.

They found useful lower order runs from Nicola Browne (54), wicket-keeper Katey Martin (42) and a late charge from Sophie Devine, who hit 26 from just 12 balls helped them post a competitive score.

Guha finished with figures of three for 47 while Jenny Gunn, Laura Marsh, Rosalie Birch, Edwards and Beth Morgan all took a wicket each.

England's batting then failed to fire, with openers Sarah Taylor (six) and Morgan (eight) dismissed by Sarah Burke before a partnership of 47 between Claire Taylor, who scored 27, and Edwards seemed to be setting England back on the right path.

It was a false dawn, as once Taylor was dismissed, one of six wickets for Beth McNeill, wickets tumbled at will with no other player even reaching double figures, leaving Edwards fighting a lone hand and with far too much to do.

She faced 87 balls, hitting nine fours as England were bowled out in the 41st over with McNeill claiming career-best ODI figures of six for 32, with Burke taking two for 22 with those two early scalps.

© Cricket World 2008