Gunn fires England into series lead
Jenny Gunn shone in the Derbyshire gloom with a magnificent all-round display which put England 2-1 up in the NatWest Women's ODI Series following a tense six-wicket win over New Zealand.
With rain clouds swirling above a sodden County Ground, Gunn hit an unbeaten 37 to go with a career-best 5-31 as England reached their target of 221 with eight balls remaining.
Ignoring the prospect of Duckworth-Lewis as the Derbyshire groundsmen regularly raced on and off the field, Gunn and Lydia Greenway put on 83 to see England home.
England appeared to be cruising with the bat during an opening stand of 108 between Sarah Taylor and Heather Knight.
Cautious early on, the pair eventually found their scoring touch with Taylor clipping successive boundaries to the midwicket fence off Sophie Devine in the 11th over and Knight following suit with two fours in the next over.
Taylor brought up the 50 with an exquisite cover drive off Devine that was as good as the bowler's surname.
The elegant 21-year-old soon reached her half-century and Knight would have been eyeing a maiden fifty of her own until she swept Aimee Watkins straight to Devine stationed at square-leg.
Taylor soon followed for a well-made 64, mistiming a usually reliable pull shot off Amy Satterthwaite as England stuttered to 117 for two in the 30th over.
The wicket brought Charlotte Edwards and Claire Taylor together, England's leading lights with the bat, but, after a 25 minute delay due to rain, the pair fell in successive overs as New Zealand rose from their slumbers.
Edwards perished first, caught off a leading edge in the 34th over, then Taylor who was pinned in front by the impressive Sian Ruck.
With 81 needed from 91 deliveries and with Duckworth-Lewis looming large, Greenway and Gunn set about the New Zealand bowling.
Greenway took the lead role with a pair of swept boundaries before Gunn tilted the balance in England's favour in the 42nd over with two fours off Kate Broadmore, the second a powerful drive down the ground as good as anything seen all day.
Gunn played a similar shot off Nicola Browne which brought up the fifty partnership as the equation became 29 needed from 30 balls and, significantly for England, the start of their batting powerplay.
The pair pressed on the accelerator to glean 14 runs in the 47th over with Greenway twice hammering short balls from Browne to the square-leg boundary and Gunn sending a perfectly timed clip through midwicket just before the heavens opened. But England were home by then.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand threatened to rattle up a huge total as openers Lucy Doolan and Maria Fahey feasted on anything loose particularly when the ball was pitched up.
Katherine Brunt, who picked up her 50th cap before play started, was unusually off-colour while new-ball partner Isa Guha, struggling to cope with the stiff breeze, sent down nine wides as wicketkeeper Taylor was kept as busy as the overworked Derbyshire groundsmen.
England finally exerted some control on the game when captain Edwards employed Gunn in tandem with off-spinner Laura Marsh. It was the catalyst for New Zealand to slump from 64 without loss to 79 for five.
Gunn blew a hole in the batting line-up starting with Doolan who skied a catch to Edwards at mid-on in the 16th over.
Fahey was next to go, off stump pegged back as she tried to squeeze a drive through the covers, soon followed two overs later by the prized wicket of Suzie Bates who played on.
Sara McGlashan lasted just one ball, given out leg-before as Gunn produced a delivery which thudded into her front pad.
England were celebrating again in the 24th over when Greenway and Sarah Taylor combined to run out Satterthwaite who unwisely attempted a quick single to the best fielder on show.
It was soon 108 for six as Gunn picked up her fifth wicket, castling Liz Perry with the last delivery of a superb 10-over spell.
New Zealand turned to their captain Watkins for inspiration and the left-hander duly obliged by hauling her side from the doldrums.
Hitting a fine 68 at better than a run a ball, Watkins put on 57 with Devine and 49 with Nicola Browne as New Zealand turned the game on its head.