BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Stand-in captain Jenny Gunn and all-rounder Natalie Sciver exploded in a combined bowling offensive as England stormed back to defeat New Zealand by 19 runs in the fifth match of the Women's Twenty20 International Tri-Series on Tuesday night at Kensington Oval.
Gunn, leading England for the injured Charlotte Edwards, and Sciver shared nine wickets by unleashing a merciless bowling assault to nullify a New Zealand run chase that had a promising start.
The White Ferns were bowled out for 106 runs, significantly shy of the 126 scored by England, who have now sealed their spot in the finals of the tournament.
New Zealand, who needed victory to keep alive their chances and to delay West Indies' hopes of advancing, started the chase with a 31-run opening stand between Captain Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite.
Even when Satterthwaite swung a ball to deep mid-wicket and was caught for 16 and Bates and Sophie Devine consolidated to add 45 runs for the second wicket, New Zealand appeared on course for victory.
Bates top-scored with 45 and Devine 25 and their departure - under the pressure of a sustained two-prong bowling attack - sparked a complete batting collapse that saw the last seven wickets falling for the addition of just nine runs.
Gunn finished with five wickets for 18 runs and was on the verge of a hat-trick after Nicola Browne and Sian Ruck perished in successive deliveries.
Sciver grabbed four wickets for 21 runs, including a hat-trick, which claimed the scalps of Maddie Green, Erin Bermingham and Frances Mackey with the score on 102.
England, without captain Charlotte Edwards due to injury, slumped to 73 for four after winning the toss and opting to bat first.
However, Danielle Wyatt and Sciver played responsibly in an effort to swing the momentum back in England's favour.
Wyatt top-scored with 37 before she miscued a scoop and was caught by wicketkeeper Rachel Priest, while Sciver scored 23 from 21 runs, and with her four-wicket haul was named Player of the Match.
England's victory over New Zealand also confirmed West Indies' place in Saturday's final.
However, finalists England and West Indies are due to play each other in their final preliminary-round game today, in a dress rehearsal to the grand finale.