Blackwell, Nitschke star in Australia win
Australia Women 222 (Blackwell 51, Poulton 38) beat New Zealand Women 203 (Browne 54*, Nitschke 3-36) by 19 runs
An all-round show from Australia helped them win the third and final ODI in Brisbane by 19 runs and seal the Rose Bowl series 4-2.
Australia, who had already retained the trophy after they won the second ODI on Tuesday, were sent in to bat by New Zealand captain Aimee Watkins, who was playing her 100th ODI. They got off to a shaky start, losing openers Shelley Nitschke and Meg Lanning with just 29 runs on board. However Alex Blackwell and Leah Poulton added 71 runs for the third wicket to steady the innings. Poulton fell after a solid 38, but Blackwell went on to make a half-century and push Australia forward before she was dismissed with the score on 142.
Australia lost Sarah Coyte and Erin Osborne in quick succession after that, as New Zealand's bowlers hit back, before a brisk unbeaten 27 from No.10 Clea Smith helped propel her team past 200. Kelly Anderson was the most successful bowler for the visitors, picking up three wickets.
New Zealand started steadily, with openers Frances Mackay and Lucy Doolan putting on 45 for the first wicket. Doolan fell to Nitschke in the ninth over and her dismissal triggered a collapse. Nitschke, Lisa Sthalekar and Coyte combined to pick up six wickets between them as New Zealand slumped from 45 for 1 to 97 for 6.
Watkins and Nicola Browne showed some resistance with a fighting 41-run seventh-wicket partnership but once Watkins was lbw to Osborne in the 31st over, New Zealand lost momentum and their tail fell away. Browne was unbeaten on 54 as New Zealand were bowled out for 203 to hand Australia the series win. Nitschke, who was the most successful bowler for Australia with three wickets, was declared the Player of the Series.
"We came into today's match wanting to finish the series on a positive note and it's great that we've been able to achieve that, especially in Shelley's last game [at home]," Australia captain Jodie Fields said.
"It's been great to get out and play a couple of good games this week and we'll take some confidence and momentum with us to England for the Quadrangular series. I know everyone is really looking forward to that opportunity and the challenge that lies ahead playing against three of the best sides in the world."