Gunn fire saves England before rain rolls in

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The Independent Online

England were rewarded with three points from a rain-abandoned draw in their opening match against Australia at the women's World Cup in South Africa yesterday.

England were rewarded with three points from a rain-abandoned draw in their opening match against Australia at the women's World Cup in South Africa yesterday.

The rain came between innings and prevented Australia beginning their response to a 50-over total of 169 for 7 from England, who had won the toss at the Technikon Oval in Pretoria. England were struggling on 104 for 6 despite handy knocks from the openers Charlotte Edwards and Laura Newton.

England's innings began to lose its way when Connor was bowled by Katherine Blackwell for a duck. The in-form Claire Taylor got a start by reaching 24 off 44 balls before falling to Karen Rolton. She departed amid another flurry of wickets as Lydia Greenway (11) and Rosalie Birch (8) both failed. Then the all-rounder Jenny Gunn weighed in with a quick, unbeaten 40.

The day's other games were also interrupted by the conditions. England's next game is against Sri Lanka tomorrow.

In Wellington, Australia retained the Trans-Tasman trophy when the second Test against New Zealand ended in a draw. Play was abandoned before tea on the fifth and final day because of persistent rain and fog.

The foul weather almost certainly saved New Zealand from another heavy defeat following their nine-wicket loss in the series opener. Stephen Fleming's side followed on and were reeling at 48 for 3, needing 278 runs to avoid an innings defeat when the storms rolled in. Glenn McGrath captured two wickets in three balls in the third over and then his fellow paceman Michael Kasprowicz claimed his 100th Test wicket.

Colin Gibson is to take over as the England and Wales Cricket Board's new head of communications. Gibson resigned last August from a similar position at the Football Association following the Faria Alam affair.

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