England's women #Cricket team slumped to a heavy defeat in their third ODI match in Tauranga against the White Ferns, losing by 9 wickets to go 2-1 down in the series. Although they had started well, after skipper Charlotte Edwards had won the toss and decided that her side would bat first, the loss of five quick wickets in the middle order limited their ambitions somewhat and allowed New Zealand to pace themselves comfortably to the victory.

Edwards' side had won the last ODI game between the two sides to level the series, so had gone into the game full of renewed confidence. A solid opening partnership between Edwards and vice-captain Heather Knight of 71 set them up nicely for a good score in their 50 overs.

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With Edwards out for 40, Knight went on to top-score with 79, sharing a second wicket partnership of 62 with Lauren Winfield. Wickets tumbled rapidly as England were reduced to 159-6 , although some extra impetus was given near the end of the innings as Katherine Brunt helped herself to 26 from 24 balls.

Defending a small total of 217-9 was never going to be an easy task, as England were in desperate need for some early wickets. Sadly for the tourists, their only joy while fielding was the wicket of New Zealand captain Suzie Bates for 39, with the score on 66-1. The wicket-taker Anya Shrubsole, like her team mates, was unable to make any further breakthroughs in the opposition's batting line-up, as the hosts cruised serenely towards their target. With almost meticulous pacing of their innings, they reached 219-1 with just 8 balls remaining, but with wickets in hand throughout the apparent closeness of the result was a little misleading.

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Rachel Priest made a career-best 96 and her unbeaten partnership of 153 with Amy Satterthwaite (76) saw them home. Satterthwaite had earlier picked up three England wickets as well, in a fine individual performance by the Kiwi.

The visitors probably owed some credit to their off-spinner Knight, with a measly spell of only 18 runs conceded from ten overs, for delaying the finish so long.

With two games remaining in the ODI series, England can still come back for overall victory. However, only the first three matches counted towards the ICC Women's Championship to determine qualification for the 2017 World Cup (in England), so it is already a disappointing tour for them from that point of view.