By Martin Davies
Rachel Priest and Amy Satterthwaite shared an unbroken second-wicket stand of 156 to lead New Zealand women to victory over England in the third International Cricket Council Women's Championship one-day international.
Player of the match Priest finished four runs short of a century and Sattherthwaite struck an unbeaten 76 to take the White Ferns, chasing 218, home with nine wickets and eight balls to spare at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
Heather Knight hit 79 and fellow opener Charlotte Edwards made 40 but the tourists lost eight wickets for 84 runs to be restricted to 217 for nine after winning the toss.
Despite the defeat, their second in three matches, England moved into joint second alongside South Africa in the Women's Championship after collecting two points for their victory on Friday. Edwards' side sit five points behind leaders Australia in the table.
England vice-captain Knight, whose side now play three Twenty20s before two more ODIs, said: "Obviously we're gutted. Credit to New Zealand they out-batted us.
"They showed that if you kept wickets in hand it was a lot easier to bat. It was a difficult pitch to bat on, but we just lost too many wickets in the middle."
Rachel Priest is named player of the match after her unbeaten 96 led New Zealand to a comfortable nine-wicket victory (Don Miles)Rachel Priest is named player of the match after her unbeaten 96 led New Zealand to a comfortable nine-wicket victory (Don Miles)
Knight was England's hero with the bat, scoring her highest ODI score. She shared an opening stand of 71 with skipper Edwards and 62 with Lauren Winfield, who made 29, but from 133 for two England suffered another middle-order collapse.
Sarah Taylor tried to sweep from outside off-stump against the off-spin of Satterthwaite, but only succeeded in guiding the ball onto her own stumps.
Amy Jones, in for Lydia Greenway, was caught at mid-on trying to go over the top and then Natalie Sciver was needlessly run out without scoring.
When Knight herself then bunted a leading edge back to a grateful Erin Bermingam, who returned 3-35, the tourists had subsided to 158 for six.
Fortunately for England the experience of Katherine Brunt, with 26, and Laura Marsh, playing instead of Rebecca Grundy, omitted due to a slight niggle, managed to avoid a total capitulation.
Vice-captain Heather Knight top-scores with 79 for England, her highest one-day international total, at the Bay Oval (Don Miles)Vice-captain Heather Knight top-scores with 79 for England, her highest one-day international total, at the Bay Oval (Don Miles)
They added 37 through a mixture of lusty blows, including a clubbed straight six off Sophie Devine by Brunt, good running and a touch of good fortune.
Marsh eventually went for 12 in the 47th over to another stunning catch from Suzie Bates, diving forward and to her left at mid-on to hold on one-handed.
Brunt departed in the next to another good catch as she skied the ball high to Katie Perkins at deep midwicket.
Jenny Gunn was then run out for one, but an assured Anya Shrubsole, with an unbeaten 15, and Danielle Hazell saw England through to the end of their 50 overs.
New Zealand's response got off to a rattling start through Priest and Bates, the pair adding 34 in the first five overs.
But when Bates went in the 14th over for a well-made 39, caught by Sciver off Shrubsole with the score on 66, the tourists started to get themselves back in the game.
Miserly bowling from Knight, who conceded just 18 from her 10 overs, in particular, brought the game back to England, although the White Ferns had wickets in hand.
Priest went into her shell once Bates was out and Satterthwaite looked generally out of sorts as England gradually managed to push the run-rate up to six an over.
With 48 needed off the last eight, Sattherthwaite finally came to life by bringing up her 50 with a sweep off Hazell, followed next ball by a straight drive for four.
She was dropped in the 47th over by Edwards at extra-cover, but by then the game had gone. Two more Sattherthwaite fours in the next brought the equation down to just four of the final 12 balls, which proved to be no problem for the hosts.
The tour now moves on with two out of three T20s at Cobham Oval in Whangarei.
Knight was looking forward to the change of format, saying: "We're at our best when we play a positive brand of cricket, and I think the T20s will make us do that. We've just got to go out and play the game we know we can."
photo Getty Images
photo Getty images