ICC Women's World Cup, Auckland: England 201-5 (50 overs) bt New Zealand 170 (48.4 overs) by 31 runs
Edwards inspired her team with a magnificent all-round display
Skipper Charlotte Edwards produced a superb all-round performance as England took an important step towards a place in the Women's World Cup final.
They beat New Zealand by 31 runs in Sydney on the opening day of the Super Six phase and are now the only unbeaten team in the competition.
Edwards top scored with 57 as England totalled 201-5 in their 50 overs.
And the 29-year-old then took 4-37 with her leg-spin as the White Ferns were bowled out for 170 in reply.
The victory was made doubly sweet by news of India's 16-run victory over hosts Australia and England can now make certain of a place in the final if they beat West Indies on Tuesday.
"It was a good, solid team performance - with a major contribution from the captain, who showed her experience with both the bat and ball.
"Her performance was backed up by some brilliant fielding and catching by the rest of the team," coach Mark Lane commented.
"Everyone contributed to the game today - which was really pleasing to see. It was hard work for us against an aggressive, dangerous New Zealand side."
Having chosen to bat first, England soon lost Sarah Taylor for seven and then slumped from 62-1 to 68-3 when Claire Taylor (19) and Caroline Atkins (36) departed in quick succession.
It was left to Edwards to rebuild the innings and although she lost Lydia Greenway, who was run out for nine by Haidee Tiffen's direct hit, she found a reliable ally in Beth Morgan.
Together they added 62 to the total after Morgan had been dropped by keeper Sara McGlashan early in her innings, with Edwards reaching her 28th one-day half century off 76 balls.
She celebrated with a lofted on-drive off Devine for her fifth boundary, but was bowled next ball attempting a similar shot.
With Edwards gone and only 5.2 overs remaining in the innings, England needed some late impetus and Jenny Gunn (22) provided it, hoisting Devine over long-off for six as she and Morgan (37) shared an unbroken stand of 43.
New Zealand's replay suffered an early setback when Kate Pulford was caught behind off Katherine Brunt for eight and they found themselves in serious trouble on 69-4 as Laura Marsh removed Amy Satterthwaite and McGlashan in an excellent spell of 2-21.
After Aimee Mason (23) and Devine went in successive overs, their hopes were pinned on captain Tiffen, who reached 53 but was then caught by Isa Guha off Edwards.
Her exit left the White Ferns on 126-7 and although Sarah Tsukigawa made an unbeaten 23, she had too much to do and Edwards sealed the win in the 49th over by bowling Rachel Priest.
Australia's faces said it all at the end of their game against India
Australia's defeat by
, the team they beat in the 2005 final and thrashed 5-0 last November, was a major surprise.
India managed to reach 234-5 after being asked to bat first as opener Anjum Chopra anchored the innings with 76.
And although Alex Blackwell made 54 in reply, the Southern Stars gradually fell behind the required rate thanks to good bowling by Gouher Sultana (2-33) and Remma Malhotra (2-32).
Jodie Fields made 43 and Lisa Ebsary weighed in with 39 nout out off 36 balls in the final overs, but they finished on 218-7.
In the other Super Six game,
defeated West Indies by four wickets with 13 balls to spare.
West Indies only managed 132-9 despite opener Stefanie Taylor's 55, Almas Akram taking 3-7, and Pakistan knocked off the runs after a slow start as Armaan Khan hit two sixes in her 43 not out.
, meanwhile, won the 7th/8th place play-off by nine wickets after dismissing Sri Lanka for just 75, with 15-year-old leg-spinner Dane van Niekerk taking 3-11.
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