Women claim series win
England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards guided her side to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand with an unbeaten innings of 83 at Lincoln Oval as the tourists completed their most successful tour down under, with a 3-1 series win.
England drew their one-day series against Australia two games apiece and then claimed the Ashes with victory in the one-off Test in Bowral and have now defeated New Zealand.
The Kiwis batted first in the fifth match of the series and posted a competitive score of 241 for nine from their 50 overs as Aimee Mason struck 67 and Lucy Doolan provided useful runs down the order with an unbeaten 42.
Nicki Shaw, Isa Guha and Edwards all collected two wickets each, with Guha the standout performer with 2-24, and in reply England were always up with the scoring rate and claimed victory in the 48th over.
England seamer Katherine Brunt provided her side with an early breakthrough when she had Katey Martin caught by Laura Marsh for six before Mason and Sara McGlashan (48) added 88 for the fourth wicket.
Sarah Taylor and Caroline Atkins gave England an excellent start with the bat, taking them to 76 before Atkins was bowled by Sophie Devine for 28.
Claire Taylor joined her namesake Sarah and they took the score to 117 before Sarah Taylor was caught from the bowling of Mason for 40.
Claire Taylor eventually fell for 34, again to the bowling of Mason, but Edwards, who hit nine fours, found good support from Jenny Gunn and the pair added 56 undefeated runs for the fifth wicket to take England to victory.
England’s Claire Taylor won the player of the series award and said: “I’m delighted with my form in New Zealand and happy to be part of a winning squad.
“To come to Australia and New Zealand and win five games of cricket is a brilliant achievement. This bodes well for the next 12 months with players beginning to prepare for the World Cup.”
Edwards added: “This has just topped off an unbelievable tour for the team. I’m really proud of every single player – it has been a real team effort throughout both series.
“To play against the two best teams in the world and to draw and then win gives us great confidence going into the World Cup next year.”
England head coach Mark Lane continued: “I’m delighted with the result from New Zealand. To beat them 3-1 on their own turf is a fantastic achievement and I’m extremely proud of the entire squad.
“They have all grown in confidence to overcome a strong side and it is excellent preparation going into the series’ this summer.
“It’s been an enjoyable tour and I would like to thank the ECB for giving me this opportunity of working with such a talented squad of cricketers. They’ve done themselves and their country proud against two very talented sides.
“We tied the ODI series against Australia, currently ranked the best side in women’s cricket, then we went on to win the Ashes, followed by this series win in New Zealand.
“To say this is a massive achievement is an understatement. It’s been the most successful winter tour down under ever and I am so pleased to have been involved.”