Australia 7 for 198 (Rolton 81*, Tsukigawa 4-43) beat New Zealand 9 for 196 (Browne 61) by 2 runs

Karen Rolton shows her strength as she drives Australia to a series win in Darwin © Getty Images

Karen Rolton led from the front with an unbeaten 81, but Australia had to repel a fine New Zealand recovery to snatch the Rose Bowl with a two-run victory in Darwin. Australia's defence of 198 was going well when the visitors were dropped to 6 for 81 by Sarah Andrews and Emma Samson before Nicola Browne intervened.

With help from Rachel Priest (33), Brown edged towards the target and by the time she departed for 61 off 76 deliveries they needed 28 from 4.1 overs with two wickets remaining. Helen Watson chipped in with 16 from 19, Sophie Devine scampered to 11 and the No. 11 Sarah Burke reached six, but only a single to midwicket was managed from the last ball when three were needed.

Andrews, who delivered the final over, finished with 2 for 34 from ten while the debutant Rene Farrell impressed with 3 for 36 at a tense situation. Australia's total was set up by the experienced Rolton, who stayed for 115 balls and hit eight fours and a six. She received support from Melissa Bulow's 41 while Sarah Tsukigawa provided some middle-order damage with 4 for 43.

"It's great to win the series, especially since we've had new players come in and with the injuries we've had here," Rolton said. "It's been good to play against a great team and have these close matches to increase the experience of the players." The 3-1 result means Sunday's final fixture will be a dead rubber.

Rolton's knock also made her the second-most prolific batsman in the history of women's cricket. Rolton, who won the Women's Player of the Year award at the ICC Awards in Mumbai last November, eclipsed New Zealander Debbie Hockley's ODI aggregate of 4,064 runs while scoring her unbeaten 81.