Australia narrowly defeated the White Ferns by seven runs in the final Rose Bowl match at North Sydney Oval, securing a 3-1 series win in the process.
Chasing Australia’s total of 267 for nine, the White Ferns required 14 off the last over, but fell just short at 260 for eight.
Lucy Doolan and Suzie Bates started the pursuit well, putting on a 48 run stand for the first wicket. Doolan made 30 from 27, before being caught off the bowling of Megan Schutt.
Bates though continued her fantastic series with 54 from 70 balls while Amy Satterthwaite (38) backed up the openers to help the White Ferns through to 133 for three.
Katie Perkins (40) and Nicola Browne (63) then combined to get their side get within striking distance at 220 for four. The turning point came when Perkins was run-out, triggering a mini-collapse.
Browne though remained and with three wickets in hand needed 14 off the last over. She was then caught off the first ball, effectively ending the White Fern’s chances.
Schutt was solid with two wickets from her ten overs, while Perry was on target at the end of the innings when she knocked over both Rachel Priest and Sara McGlashan.
Earlier, Australia once again got off to a strong start and set a good platform for their middle-order to build on later in the innings.
A second wicket partnership worth 58 between Rachael Haynes (32) and Jess Cameron (66) took the home side to 73 for one. It took a great piece of fielding from Katie Perkins to break the stand, with Haynes run out in the 12th over.
That brought last match’s centurion Meg Lanning to the crease. Alongside Cameron she kept the momentum with Australia and put on 58 for the third wicket.
Cameron brought up her half century, before being dismissed by an unlikely suspect in Satterthwaite in the 21st over. The 26 year-old Satterthwaite then proceeded to take two more key scalps, including the wicket of Lanning.
Lea Tahuhu followed her vice-captain’s lead and chimed in with two more. Together they stalled Australia’s run-chase somewhat, reducing them to 205 for eight.
A late unbeaten 33 from Elise Perry saw them past the 250 mark, while Sharon Millanta added the finishing touches with 15 not out.
Tahuhu and Satterthwaite took three wickets apiece, while the hosts were also hampered by three run-outs.
The White Ferns now look towards the ICC World Cup in India, which begins late January.