Edwards helps England avoid upset

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards, who handed the reins to Jenny Gunn today, hit a crucial unbeaten 89 to help see off the women's academy

England women began their preparations for the NatWest Series against New Zealand with a predictable win over the England academy.

In their first 50-over match of the summer, England triumphed by seven wickets at Kibworth CC in Leicester thanks to an unbroken stand of 113 between Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway.

Edwards made an unbeaten 89 and Greenway finished 57 not out as England recovered from a tricky start to cruise to a victory target of 170 with some ease.

Charlotte Russell top-scored for the academy with 38, but they were restricted to 169 for nine thanks to Nicky Shaw’s 3-29 and 3-43 from Jenny Gunn. There were also two wickets for Holly Colvin.

Isa Guha, the England seamer who was representing the academy today, removed Heather Knight and Claire Taylor to reduce the senior side to 40 for three early in their reply.

But Edwards and Greenway, who hit 26 fours between them, eased any nerves in the England dressing room while banishing the prospect of an upset ahead.

Gunn, leading the side despite Edwards’ presence, said: “It was a good experience to captain England for the second time.

“Without some of our key players, others stepped up and bowled well. There are areas we need to work on, but it was good to get a 50-over game in the legs and a good win under our belts ahead of the summer series.”

Edwards said: “I was pleased to contribute and get a good score today. It was good preparation for the series against New Zealand.”

England meet Ireland on Wednesday before renewing their rivalry with New Zealand, their conquerors in the recent Twenty20 campaign, in a five-match one-day starting on Saturday.