England have stolen victory in the third Twenty20 against the White Ferns by 10 runs via the Duck-Worth Lewis system and in doing so took an unassailable three nil lead in the series.
Playing at Eden Park, New Zealand looked in good shape after a tight display in the field, but couldn’t push on with the bat and still required 19 runs off the last seven balls before rain ended the match.
The White Ferns opted to bowl having won the toss and got off to the best possible start.
Laura Marsh, who hurt the Ferns in Hamilton, was out in the first over and was joined by her skipper Charlotte Edwards just a few balls later.
With two of England’s most dangerous players in the shed the White Ferns tails were up and for the first time in the series they had the momentum.
Lady luck then smiled down on them when Francis Mackay got a finger on a straight drive from Lydia Greenway which then cannoned into the stumps, just running out Sarah Taylor who had been backing up.
England slowly clawed their way back into the match, but lost three more wickets along the way, including two more run outs.
Lydia Greenway made a crucial 36 for the away side, but it was a clean striking Jenny Gunn who top scored with 30 not out, including a big six.
At the end of 20 overs England had posted a slightly below par score of 108 for six.
In reply the Ferns looked to be cruising to victory as Suzie Bates and Frances Mackay put on 31 for the first wicket.
When Mackay was bowled in for 19 Sara McGlashan came to the crease and carried on the momentum.
However things changed quickly for the Ferns when both Bates (19) and McGlashan (20) were dismissed in quick succession.
Amy Satterthwaite (16) did her part with sixteen, but with wickets falling and the required run-rate increasing the White Ferns grip on the game was slipping quickly.
With seven balls to go the White Ferns required 19 runs and with three wickets in hand. What might have been though will never be known, as rain forced both teams from the field.
They wouldn’t return and with the Ferns 10 runs short of where they needed to be on the Duckworth-Lewis system, England picked up their third win and the series with two games to spare.
It was a heart breaking loss for the Ferns who were in control for much of the match. They get another shot at England on Saturday.