White Ferns end World Cup buildup with win
The White Ferns have upset defending champions England by 13 runs on the eve of the women's 50-over cricket World Cup in India.
Playing their second and final warmup match in Mumbai ahead of Friday's tournament opener against South Africa, New Zealand brushed aside Monday's surprise hammering by India to topple the world champions and confirm themselves as genuine contenders for their first World Cup triumph since 2000.
New Zealand headed for India buoyed by a 2-1 Twenty20 series win over Australia in Melbourne last week, their first series victory on Australian soil for 26 years, and confident of breaking up the England-Australia dominance of major trophies in women's cricket during the past eight years.
Though India showed they will be a handful on their home turf in the 50-over World Cup, and the West Indies are also now a major threat in the women's game, the White Ferns' confidence will remain intact following a rare win over England.
New Zealand posted 223 all out in 50 overs and held their nerve to dismiss the tournament favourites for 210 in the 49th over.
After being asked to bat first, the Ferns should have amassed more than what they did. They were 209-5 after 45 overs and on track for 250 but lost their final five wickets for 14 runs in the last 30 balls as England's Danielle Hazell snared 5-41 from her 10 overs.
Lucy Doolan scored 57 from 77 balls at the top of New Zealand's innings while Sara McGlashan (match-high 88 from 90 balls) and Nicola Browne (40 from 61) put on 92 runs for the sixth wicket after combining at 117-5.
England stumbled at the start of their chase but Sarah Taylor (32) and Lydia Greenway (51) did the repair job and took England past 100. But England lost regular wickets to be 152-7 before a 48-run eighth-wicket stand between Jenny Gunn (35) and Tammy Beaumont (22) threatened an unlikely win.
New Zealand removed the last three wickets quickly to complete the win, Suzie Bates (2-26) and Rachel Candy (2-30) leading the way with the ball while Katie Perkins effected two of the three run-outs.