England’s women lost the first of their three one-day internationals to New Zealand by 67 runs.
The hosts totalled 240-8 from their 50 overs at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval, a total which proved far too testing for Charlotte Edwards’s team.
Edwards won the toss and put New Zealand into bat – and they made brisk early progress in reaching 157 before losing their first wicket in the 31st over. Despite the efforts of Heather Knight – the pick of the England bowlers with four wickets for 47 runs – England were set a challenging victory total of 241 as Suzie Bates (106) and Rachel Priest (52) impressed with the bat.
The target proved too much for the tourists, who were dismissed for 173. Anya Shrubshole (29), Lydia Greenway (27) and Edwards (26) led the scoring.
The second match in the series takes place at the same venue on today.
Sri Lanka have opted for inexperienced pace bowler Dushmantha Chameera as an injury replacement for Dhammika Prasad in their World Cup squad.
Prasad fractured his hand in training on Saturday to end his tournament before it had started.
His 23-year-old replacement Chameera has just a single one-day international cap, won in New Zealand last month when he claimed two wickets for 60 runs.
An ICC statement read: “The International Cricket Council has confirmed that the Event Technical Committee of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 has approved Dushmantha Chameera as a replacement player for Dhammika Prasad in Sri Lanka’s squad for the tournament, which starts on 14 February.”
Sri Lanka open the World Cup against co-hosts New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday.
All-rounder Tom Smith is Lancashire’s new captain, replacing the long-serving Glen Chapple.
Chapple, who has held the post since 2009 and led the side to the LV= County Championship title two years later, is now 41 and will focus on his role as player-coach in 2015.
His replacement, 29-year-old Smith, takes the reins having been named the Red Rose’s player of the year last season and will be assisted by new vice-captain Steven Croft.
The Chorley-born player said: “It is a tremendous honour for me to be appointed captain of the county I grew up supporting and have been lucky enough to play for. The Red Rose means so much to me as it does to all our members.”