(BBC) England women wasted a fantastic start to lose the third one-day international against New Zealand by four wickets yesterday.
The home side reached 104-0 after winning the toss at Grace Road, but lost all 10 wickets for 115 runs to be bowled out for 219.
Sophie Devine’s unbeaten 117 led New Zealand to victory with more than five overs to spare.
It gives the White Ferns a consolation win in a series that England have taken 2-1.
Perhaps more importantly, New Zealand claim two points in the Women’s Championship, putting them second and ahead of England in the race for qualification for the 2021 World Cup.
For England, it ends an international summer during which they have also won an ODI series against South Africa and a Twenty20 competition involving both the Proteas and New Zealand.
Their players now turn their attention to the domestic T20 Super League, which begins on 22 July, before they bid to add to the World T20 to their 50-over world title in the Caribbean in November.
The progress made by England openers Amy Jones and Tammy Beaumont on a bright afternoon suggested New Zealand were on the way to a hammering.
Jones and Beaumont were entirely untroubled in their century stand, punishing some sloppy White Ferns bowling.
However, Beaumont’s departure for 53 – caught behind trying to reverse-sweep off-spinner Leigh Kasperek – was the beginning of England’s struggles against New Zealand’s slower bowlers.
The accurate Kasperek led the way with 5-39, while Jess Watkin chipped in with 2-38, including Jones stumped for 78.
New Zealand’s fielding improved – they took some smart catches and enjoyed some luck – and Nat Sciver was run out backing up after Kasperek dropped a return catch.
England, though, did not adapt to the slowing conditions and were bowled out with 16 deliveries still remaining.