England cruise to series win
England 242 for 4 (Edwards 83*, Sarah Taylor 40) beat New Zealand 241 (Mason 67, McGlashan 48, Doolan 42*) by six wickets
England stormed to a six-wicket win against New Zealand to take the series 3-1 and seal one of their most successful Down Under tours ever. Prior to their trip they had not won an ODI in Australia since 1988 nor one in New Zealand since 1991 but after tying the Australia leg 2-2 they have now avenged New Zealand's series win in England last year in convincing style.
Charlotte Edwards, who has been in blistering form this trip, helped to hunt down the target with an unbeaten 83, while Sarah Taylor added 40. Edwards' bowling has been handy of late too, she picked up two wickets with her legpsin, while there were two each for Isa Guha and Nicky Shaw.
After Sunday's washout England could not lose the series but they made sure to take the prize despite a strong performance from stand-in captain Aimee Mason, who made 63. Sara McGlashan (48) and Lucy Doolan (42) also contributed as New Zealand posted 241.
England were already winners when during the tour it was announced that ten of their players will be the first women ever to get central contracts. Their future is looking bright on and off the pitch.
New Zealand, who played with far from their strongest team through injuries and unavailabilities, now have the chance to make amends when Australia arrive on Tuesday ahead of the forthcoming Rose Bowl series.
Claire Taylor won the Player of the Series Award, decided on by the two head coaches. "I'm delighted with my form in New Zealand," she said, "and happy to be part of a winning squad. To come to Australia and New Zealand and win five games of cricket is a brilliant achievement. This bodes well for the next 12 months with players beginning to prepare for the World Cup."
Edwards added: "This has just topped off an unbelievable tour for the team. I'm really proud of every single player - it has been a real team effort throughout both series. To play against the two best teams in the world and to draw and then win gives us great confidence going into the World Cup next year."
Acting head coach Mark Lane said: "I'm delighted with the result from New Zealand. To beat them 3-1 on their own turf is a fantastic achievement and I'm extremely proud of the entire squad. They have all grown in confidence to overcome a strong side and it is excellent preparation going into the series this summer."