England 195 for 7 (Taylor 61, Gunn 46, Goswami 3-20) beat India 192 for 8 (Chopra 43, Raj 47, Kala 40) by three wickets
An innings of immense promise from Sarah Taylor enabled England to secure a three-wicket victory in the fourth one-day international at the Rose Bowl and with it the series against India. Taylor's 61 was the outstanding innings of the day and she batted with an ease that no one else managed. England's chase was not without its alarms, but they had enough in reserve as Jane Smit and Katherine Brunt carried them over the line with 26 balls to spare.
India had fought back after a poor start as they lost both openers with just a single on the board. Mithali Raj and Anjum Chopra added 108 for the third wicket to lead the fightback, however a clutch of late wickets restricted the total to below 200.
England's chase was rocking after an impressive early spell from Jhulan Goswami, who took three wickets in an eight-over burst that went for just 10 runs. She claimed two in two balls when Caroline Atkins inside-edged onto her stumps then Charlotte Edwards, again batting down the order, pushed at her first ball and was well taken by Karu Jain.
It was anyone's game at 17 for 3, but the innings was steadied by Claire Taylor and Jenny Gunn. India gained another vital breakthrough when Taylor was stumped down the leg-side, bringing Sarah Taylor to the middle. For the first match of this series she was selected as the wicketkeeper, in place of Smit, but she can more than hold her own as a batsman.
In the third match, at Arundel, her 40 was full of class and at Brighton College she loses nothing in comparison with her male colleagues. This innings gave a wider audience a view of her ability as she timed the ball from the outset and was well-organised throughout. "It's been a steep learning curve," she said later, although such sentiments could have applied to India's bowlers as she routinely punished them with conviction. Much of the batting up to that point had been a struggle, but Taylor found the gaps and had the timing to reach the fence.
Her half-century came off 51 balls - "I'm looking to score at a run a ball" she later confirmed - but when she sliced to point the game was not quite won with 29 still needed. However, Smit - who had originally been left out as keeper in favour Taylor - used her experience to strike five boundaries, the final three arriving in a rush to seal the match.
Despite India's early wickets they had always appeared about 25 runs short after struggling to press the accelerator following the early loss of their openers. Raj and Chopra played well, in a record third-wicket stand between the two teams, but were reluctant to chance their arm. It was left to Hemlata Kala to pick up the rate with a well-paced 40 off 46 balls.
England's bowlers stuck to their task with Holly Colvin, who earlier in the day gained 10 A-stars in her GCSEs, producing an economical spell with her left-arm spin. However, it was England's other young star who played the vital hand, and laid a marker for the future - "I'm loving it" she smiled - as the team managed to reverse their series defeat from the winter.