England Women Round Off Tour With 3-1 Series Win

New Zealand Women 241 (Mason 67, Guha 2-24) England Women 242-4 (Edwards 83no, Mason 3-42) England Women won by six wickets and won the series 3-1 England Women capped a successful tour down under by winning the fifth and final One Day International against New Zealand Women by six wickets, ensuring a 3-1 series win in Lincoln. Good bowling from England again prevented the White Ferns from establishing a big score, as Aimee Mason hit 67 and Sarah McGlashan 48 in an otherwise ordinary batting performance. Wickets were once again shared around the England bowlers, as Nicola Shaw, Isa Guha and Charlotte Edwards took two apiece with New Zealand making it to 241 for nine from their 50 overs. England batted steadily in their reply as Sarah Taylor (40), Caroline Atkins (28), Claire Taylor (34) all got starts before a captain's innings of 83 not out from Edwards steadied the ship and saw them home. Jenny Gunn was also unbeaten on 12 as Mason capped a fine individual day by taking three for 42 but her side was again outplayed with victory coming in the 48th over. England Women can reflect on an excellent winter, in which they drew 2-2 in ODIs against Australia, retained the Ashes by winning the one-off Test and now beat New Zealand 3-1 with performances that must put them amongst the favourites for the 2009 World Cup in Australia. Claire Taylor was named Player of the Series, and she said after the game, "“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.” An ecstatic Edwards commented: “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.” Acting head coach Mark Lane added: ”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.” England host India and South Africa this summer before the World Cup in Australia in 2009. © Cricket World 2008