Nat Sciver-Brunt stars as England secure series whitewash over New Zealand

England completed a 3-0 ODI series whitewash over New Zealand as Nat Sciver-Brunt engineered a successful run chase in Bristol.

Sciver-Brunt made an unbeaten 76 from 84 balls as England – 72 for four at one stage in reply to New Zealand’s 211 for eight in a rain-reduced 42-over contest – crossed the winning line by five wickets with 20 deliveries remaining.

A fifty from Amy Jones and Alice Capsey’s unbeaten 35 gave Sciver-Brunt the necessary support to get the job done.

It was a recovery act that ensured Lauren Bell’s career-best figures of five for 37 from nine overs did not go to waste.

Drizzle prevented play until 2.35pm as England took the opportunity to rest Danni Wyatt, Lauren Filer and Sophie Ecclestone, with the series already wrapped up by handsome wins at Chester-le-Street and Worcester.

Bell was one of the beneficiaries of the changes after sitting out Sunday’s win at New Road – and England’s capacity to strike early was evident again.

Georgia Plimmer’s full-length dive could not beat Charlie Dean’s direct hit from backward point, and fellow opener Suzie Bates edged Kate Cross to give a difficult chance that wicketkeeper Jones accepted in outstanding fashion.

Sophie Devine and Amelia Kerr repaired the early damage with a partnership of 68 from 77 balls.

Lauren Bell celebrates taking the wicket of New Zealand's Amelia Kerr on her way to a five wicket-haul
Lauren Bell starred with the ball (Nigel French/PA)

Devine became Bell’s first victim for a run-a-ball 43, chopping on a delivery that bounced more than she had expected and was too close to cut.

The unfortunate Maddy Green was adjudged lbw but unable to review as DRS was briefly out of operation.

Kerr and Brooke Halliday put on 65 for the fifth wicket before Bell returned to the attack and tilted the contest in England’s favour.

She won an lbw call against Kerr, aiming for a big legside swish and departing after making 57 from 82 balls. Halliday’s resistance ended on 31 when she gloved down the legside and Jones took another smart catch.

Bell wrapped up her five-wicket haul as slower balls deceived Isabella Gaze and Lauren Down, both spooning up comfortable catches to Sciver-Brunt on the offside.

Amy Jones reaches her half-century against New Zealand and is congratulated by team-mate Nat Sciver-Brunt
Nat Sciver-Brunt and Amy Jones made big scores (Nigel French/PA)

England had a poor start to their reply as Tammy Beaumont was given out lbw from the fifth ball after being beaten by Hannah Rowe’s late swing.

Beaumont walked straight off after the umpire’s finger went up, although she might have been advised by her partner Maia Bouchier to invite a review.

Skipper Heather Knight went for nine as Rowe took a simple return catch, and England slipped to 39 for three as Bouchier touched Molly Penfold’s steepling bouncer to Gaze behind the stumps.

Gaze took a second catch to remove Sophia Dunkley off spinner Kerr, but Sciver-Brunt and Jones steadied the ship with a fifth-wicket partnership of 90.

Jones made a run-a-ball 50 before feathering Halliday behind, and the script might have been different had Plummer not dropped a sitter at cover with Sciver-Brunt on 63.

England coasted to victory from that point, with Sciver-Brunt unruffled and Capsey’s polished cameo underlining her talent.