England retain The Ashes!
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t make a 3:25am viewing of this match (the best of intentions was no rival for the depths of sleep I was in at that time in the morning) but luckily the powers of modern technology meant I could watch at a more sociable time. However the reams of ECB press releases I woke up to this morning signalled only one thing – England had retained the Ashes.
Going into the match England were hit with bad news as both Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole were ruled out with injury, leaving Charlotte Edwards’s team without two of its most experienced players. After winning the toss Australia elected to bat first, but an early lbw by Elyse Villani and a breakdown in communication seeing Blackwell run out created problems for the home side. Stand-in captain Meg Lanning led her team like a veteran to the role, surviving from ball 1 to the last and putting on 78 runs, finishing with a strong partnership with golden girl Ellyse Perry. At the end of the innings Australia were 150-3.
Charlotte Edwards and Danielle Wyatt opened England’s innings, although Wyatt only knocked up 6 runs off 11 balls before finding Blackwell in the field. Following Wyatt to the crease was Sarah Taylor, leaving Australia to field against the no.1 and no.3 rated ICC T20 batswomen in the world – needless to say, this is their thing. After a few close calls (including Taylor’s near run out saved by wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy’s glove being to blame for the fall of the bails and not the ball), the pair got into their stride and soon chased down the Australian total, finishing the game on a partnership of 114. With 16 balls to spare England beat Australia by nine wickets – England 151-1 (17.5 overs) beat Australia 150-3 (20 overs) by nine wickets. For a full score card see here
Even though England have sealed the win there are still two games left to play in the series and Edwards has vowed her team will be taking them seriously,
“There are still two matches to play in this Women’s Ashes Series, and we want to win both of them. Australia can never be underestimated – as demonstrated by how they played in the second two ODIs against us – they are a very strong side and play with a lot of pride, so I expect them to come at us hard again in the remaining T20s.”
The match will be shown live at the far more sociable time of 3:45am Friday 31st, Sky Sports 2.
England 10 – Australia 4
|Date||Format||Venue||Points for a Win||Points for a Draw||Winner|
|10 – 13 January||Test||WACA, Perth||6||2||England|
|26-Jan||ODI||Blundstone Arena, Hobart||2||1||Australia|
|29-Jan||T20||Blundstone Arena, Hobart||2||N/A||England|
|02-Feb||T20||Stadium Australia, Sydney||2||N/A|
Image from www.dailymail.com/cricket (thanks!)