A career-best, unbeaten 96 from opening bat Rachel Priest — with solid support from Suzie Bates (39) and Amy Satterthwaite (76*) — clinched an impressive victory for the New Zealand White Ferns in the third One-Day International at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui today — together with two more ICC Women’s Championship points.
Player of the Match Priest, whose previous ODI best was 74, narrowly missed out on a maiden ODI century after Satterthwaite lifted her strike rate at the death, finding the boundary several times as they closed in on their target of 218.
Weathering a strong fightback mid-innings from the England attack, the pair had already notched up a 100-run second wicket stand off 159 balls and needed their last 50 runs from 10 overs. Knight had been the most troublesome with the ball, her set of 10 overs costing just 18 runs.
But the ever upbeat Priest was philosophical about being stranded on 96. “I was just happy to get the win, to be honest. Amy was cruising it at the end, and I was just sitting back and watching — it was great. She batted so well, and she did that all the domestic season, too. For her to fight like that and come through at the end was fantastic for her.”
Listen to postmatch audio with Rachel Priest
Earlier, after England elected to bat, spinner Erin Bermingham (3-35) put crucial brakes on England’s momentum, removing both openers Charlotte Edwards and — eventually, Heather Knight.
Watch Bermingham get Knight caught behind.
Knight fell for 79 in the 41st over, when she had been ideally set to up the tempo at the death.
She had also been charged with holding England’s innings together after the loss of Lauren Winfield had earlier set off a domino effect, seven wickets falling for 105 runs after they had been well placed at 133/2. Morna Nielsen was the unsung heroine of the White Ferns, creating superb pressure at an economy rate of just 2.6 off her 10 overs that was backed up by another aggressive fielding effort.
The teams now head to Whangarei for two Twenty20 Internationals before closing out the Series with a further T20i and two One-Day Internationals in Lincoln, the White Ferns leading 2-1.