Edwards ensures positive finish
Charlotte Edwards struck an unbeaten century as England ended their disappointing Women’s World Cup defence on a high.
A third-place play-off versus New Zealand would not have been what Edwards’ side expected from a tournament they entered with such high hopes.
Yet that did not stop England putting in an excellent display today as, despite a late wobble, they chased 221 in a four-wicket success.
The triumph was thanks in no small part to Edwards, who – as is often the case when she plays well – batted with an ease that belied the struggles of others.
She did enjoy a moment of fortune when given not out on 99 having clearly edged Lea Tahuhu behind, yet that did not detract from an outstanding knock – especially given Edwards has fallen victim of some poor umpiring herself in the competition.
In reaching the milestone, England’s skipper joined Claire Taylor and Karen Rolton as the most prolific century-makers in women’s ODIs with eight. She also passed 5,000 runs - becoming the first woman to achieve the feat.
The class Edwards showed was only really matched by White Ferns number three Amy Satterthwaite, who followed up her century in Wednesday’s meeting between the sides with 85.
That effort was the only one of any real note for New Zealand as England – without their star bowler in the competition, Anya Shrubsole – kept things tight impressively.
Holly Colvin led the way, getting rid of Satterthwaite, Sara McGlashan and Rachel Priest en route to 3-31; Arran Brindle claimed 2-38, Jenny Gunn 1-20 and Danielle Hazell 1-42.
Satterthwaite, however, ensured New Zealand posted a competitive 220 for eight, striking 11 fours in a fluent stay.
Her effort was bettered by Edwards, who – having seen Danni Wyatt depart early - was well supported by Sarah Taylor’s 28, Lydia Greenway’s 31 and Brindle’s 27.
The departure of the latter was immediately followed by Heather Knight’s and Jenny Gunn’s, in between which Edwards enjoyed her aforementioned reprieve.
At that stage, New Zealand – with England 202 for six – were scenting an unlikely victory.
However, Laura Marsh – with a quick 15 – drew on her vast experience to accompany Edwards in seeing England over the finishing line.