England women beat South Africa to win Twenty20 series 3-0
|Third women's Twenty20 international, Edgbaston:|
|England 126-6 (20 overs) beat South Africa 118-6 (20 overs) by eight runs|
|Match scorecard (external site)|
Lauren Winfield struck her highest international score as England beat South Africa by eight runs to complete a 3-0 Twenty20 series whitewash.
Winfield, 24, cracked a superb 74 off 60 balls to help England recover from the early loss of captain Charlotte Edwards and post 126-6 at Edgbaston.
South Africa made a bright start with the bat and kept the match alive into the final over.
But two wickets for Jenny Gunn and some fine fielding saw England home.
|England v South Africa|
|First Twenty20, Chelmsford: England won by nine wickets|
|Second Twenty20, Northampton: England won by 42 runs|
|Third Twenty20, Edgbaston: England won by eight runs|
Gunn also bowled a miserly final over to restrict South Africa to four runs when 13 would have secured their first T20 victory over England.
Instead, the hosts rounded off their international summer with their fifth successive limited-overs victory following a surprise defeat by India in the only Test at Wormsley.
Winfield's previous highest score in 18 internationals across all three formats was 36.
But she showed excellent timing and power to hit nine fours and a six and almost single-handedly guided the hosts to a competitive total.
"If we're moving women's cricket forward, we've got to play more aggressive, and that's what I've had the licence to do, especially in the powerplays," said Winfield.
"We were a bit off the pace today up top, but we had some good fielding at key moments. Good sides win under pressure and we did that, and had some fantastic death bowling from Jen. "
England had made a stuttering start as captain Edwards was out for the first time in the series, and for only four runs.
Edwards, who scored 62 not out and 75 not out in the first two matches and was averaging 302 in limited-overs cricket this summer, got a leading edge and was caught by Lizelle Lee running round from mid-on.
Sarah Taylor played the support role in a partnership of 52 with Winfield before she holed out to long-off.
Natalie Sciver, Heather Knight and Danielle Wyatt all failed, but Lydia Greenway's 19 not out gave the hosts a late boost.
South Africa made a bright start with the bat but their momentum was checked when Dane Van Niekerk attempted a risky single and was run out by Winfield for 35.
Lee was trapped lbw by Gunn before two wickets in two balls swung things England's way.
Natalie Sciver ran out Trisha Chetty for 34 with a direct hit from the boundary and from the next delivery Greenway took an athletic catch to remove Mignon Du Preez.
Chloe Trynon and Bernadine Bezuidenhout kept South Africa in the hunt, but Gunn's experience and skill at the death ensured England closed out the win.