Taylor revels in return to form

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Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor works the ball into the leg side during her unbeaten 109 in the third ODI at Lincoln, which England won by six wickets

Sarah Taylor said a huge weight was lifted from her shoulders after scoring an unbeaten century in the third and final one-day international in New Zealand.

The wicketkeeper-batter cracked 109 not out as England women triumphed by six wickets in Lincoln to complete a series whitewash to follow up their 4-0 Twenty20 triumph.

It was the first time the 22-year-old had passed three figures in an ODI in almost three years.

"I felt like I needed some big runs," Taylor told ecb.co.uk. "I'd put a lot of pressure on myself to do well.

"It was probably the best I've played for England, especially as we'd lost a couple of early wickets.

"It was also good to show that I can bat through an innings. In the past I've played well and got out towards the end."

Filling the number three position vacated by Claire Taylor, one of the world's best players, is a daunting challenge, but in Taylor junior England have a special talent who could break every batting record in the women's game.

Already the youngest player in women's cricket to pass 2,000 one-day runs, Taylor is set to be a force for years to come.

"I'd had the break from cricket last winter and it had been a while since I'd scored a hundred," she added.

"It was good to score a century at number three as that's where I said I wanted to bat once Claire Taylor retired. I wanted more responsibility and number three is an important role, especially with the World Cup next year."

England have enjoyed a wonderful winter. After winning five of the six games played in South Africa in October, Charlotte Edwards' side clocked up a further seven victories in New Zealand. Only the rain denied them a clean sweep on both tours.

While Taylor grabbed the headlines for her century in the final game, she insisted her team-mates deserve just as much recognition for their efforts in New Zealand.

"It was a good way to finish the tour," she said.

"Everyone has stood up at some point and contributed. It's not just been one or two people who have won games. It's been a good series for us."

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