England take series after Brunt stars
England 139 for 1 (SC Taylor 51*, SJ Taylor 49*) beat New Zealand 136 for 9 (Watkins 42, Brunt 3-31) by nine wickets
A 98-run stand between Claire and Sarah Taylor and three wickets for Katherine Brunt in front of her home crowd sealed England the series against New Zealand as they eased to a nine-wicket win in the 4th ODI at Barnsley.
England came out on top in a more free-scoring encounter in the their last match to go 2-1 up in the five-match series but runs were harder to come by on this occasion. On a difficult track the home side cautiously chipped away at the modest total set by New Zealand, taking 46.1 overs to chase down 136.
The tone was set by Sarah Taylor and Heather Knight, as they saw off the new-ball shine in a patient 41-run stand before Knight was bowled by Sophie Devine's medium pace in the 18th over. It proved New Zealand's last success in a forgettable day.
Claire Taylor began slowly before regaining her old confidence to hit six boundaries and a six on her way to an unbeaten half-century. It was her second fifty of the series and is a good sign for England after she struggled for form earlier in the season. At the other end Sarah Taylor was happy to accumulate at her own pace, hitting just four fours and taking 130 deliveries to reach an undefeated 49.
It meant England coasted to their target with 23 balls to spare. The hard work was done, however, in the first half of the game by England. Brunt enjoyed the familiar surroundings and burst through New Zealand's top order, removing Lucy Doolan and the dangerous Suzie Bates.
Isa Guha provided excellent support, dismissing Sara McGlashan and bowling four maidens in a miserly spell of 1 for 11 from her 10 overs. Having watched the opening pair do the damage, Jenny Gunn chipped in with two wickets as New Zealand crumbled to 78 for 6.
Once again it was captain Aimee Watkins who provided the bulk of the resistance. She made 42 from 82 deliveries to carry the total over 100 but it was never going to be enough.
"I never thought we would play here, it has been a dream come true for me," Brunt said. "The conditions haven't suited me in recent matches, but today it was a nice little seaming wicket. It meant the world to me to pick up a few wickets in front of my family."