They posted 240/8 in their 50 overs, but could, and probably should, have scored more. Skipper Suzie Bates (106) and Rachel Priest (52) put on a record opening partnership against England of 157 in just under 31 overs, as England struggled with the ball and in the field. Bates was dropped by Lydia Greenway on 48. It was a sharp chance, but Greenway would have backed herself to take it, and in fact she took a remarkably similar catch off Hazell to dismiss Bates 58 runs later.
That wicket sparked a collapse which threatened to undo all the openers' good work. Priest, in her 50th ODI for the White Ferns, had been caught by Sciver on the deep midwicket boundary off Knight, who also accounted for Satterthwaite for just 1. When Bates went New Zealand were 178/3, which soon became 182/6 as Devine, Broadmore and McGlashan all fell cheaply, two more to Knight and one to the debuting Grundy, who bowled well for her 1/35 return off 10 overs.
But Katie Perkins (27*) and Anna Petersen (12) steadied the ship that looked in danger of sinking. They took the score to 210 before Petersen slogged Brunt to Gunn at cow corner, and then Anya Shrubsole returned to pick up a consolation wicket as the White Ferns ended on a decent score of 240/8.
England needed not to panic in reply, but the needless run outs of Heather Knight (11) - her own fault and Charlotte Edwards (26) - at the hands of Sarah Taylor, plus the loss of Lauren Winfield to a tentative prod outside off-stump, suggested confidence was low.
|Heather Knight is run out (c) Don Miles|
Anya Shrubsole (29) and Dani Hazell (17) made the score look a little more respectable with some lusty hitting, but it was all in vain. England were bowled out in the 46th over for 173. It helps with the Net Run Rate calculation, but in truth England deserved to lose by more.
So New Zealand have some points on the ICC WC board, and England have two days to get their act together. Will they make changes? I have to say I think not. You got us into this mess so you get us out of it.
England will need to be a lot sharper with bat, ball and in the field. New Zealand thoroughly deserved to win this opener. They outplayed England in every department.
I have to say that I think bowling first was the wrong call. I said before the game that I would have batted, even after seeing the pitch. It was a decent pitch to bat on and runs on the board means pressure. We will wait and see what the winning captain does on Friday.
Full scorecard here - http://scoring.blackcaps.co.nz/livescoring/match2509/scorecard.aspx#innings1