Australia duly wrapped up the Rose Bowl series with another win, but by only 7 runs as the White Ferns came close to chasing down the Southern Stars score of 267.
The Aussie score was built around solid performances from Rachael Haynes (32), Jess Cameron (66), Meg Lanning (38), and acting captain Alex Blackwell (23), plus a smart 33 not out from Ellyse Perry coming in at 9 and adding 62 with her fellow tail-enders. Lea Tahuhu and, suprisingly Amy Satterthwaite, helped themselves to three wickets apiece.
In reply the White Ferns made a solid start through Lucy Doolan (30) and the ever-reliable Suzie Bates (54), and this was continued by Satterthwaite (38), Katie Perkins (40) and Nicola Browne (60) and at 220 for 3 with just over 7 overs left they were in a decent position to push for victory, but the pressure told and wickets tumbled. 28 were needed off 3 overs when Tahuhu hit Sharon Millanta for a 6 and 4, to leave 17 required from the last two overs. But recent debutant 19 year old Megan Schutt held her nerve to bowl a superb penultimate over, conceding just 3 runs and dismissing Tahuhu. 14 from the last over proved too much and the White Ferns finished agonisingly short.
But overall New Zealand will have taken many positives from the series. They were there or thereabouts in 3 of the 4 games, only once failing to make a competitive total with the bat. It bodes well for their World Cup campaign in February next year. As for the Aussies they may well feel that they should have dominated the series more than they did. They have some dangerous batters in their side who can take games away from the opposition in a matter of a few overs. However their bowling may still be their weaker suit. They have some work to do before the World Cup, but they will go there in good spirits, no doubt hoping to steal England's champions' crown. It is all building up to a great cricket tournament. Not to be missed.
Scorecard - http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/584549.html
Match report (Aus) - http://www.cricket.com.au/news-list/2012/12/19/more-joy-for-southern-stars
Match report (NZ) - http://www.blackcaps.co.nz/match-report/southern-stars-wrap-up-rose-bowl-3-1/1500/report.aspx