England Women have retained the Women’s Ashes with two games to spare!
The ladies put on yet another determined performance to secure a nine-wicket win in the first Twenty20 international
The Victory gives captain Charlotte Edwards’ side an unassailable 10-4 lead in the Ashes down under against Australia. It’s helped England redeem themselves after the men’s embarassing 5-0 loss to Australia last summer (#justsaying).
Captain Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor made unbeaten fifties which saw the tourists chasing 151 with 2.1 overs unused at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval.
Edwards, who has led the team in all three formats of the Ashes, was awarded player-of-the-match.
Her 59-ball 92 is England’s highest format score. She stole 114 in together with Taylor, who made 50 from 37 deliveries, after the early loss of Danni Wyatt.
England started off well winning the Test Match and a crucial 6-point head start in the Ashes. Securing a further two points in the first ODI the team needed just one more victory to retain the Ashes they won at home last year.
But Australia woke up and the game was on when they won the second and third one-day internationals to keep the series alive.
Thanks to a final push from England today Australia will be playing for pride in the last Twenty20 matches on Friday in Melbourne and on Sunday at Sydney.
England’s performance in this crucial match came with much pressure when it was announced seamer Anya Shrubsole and batter Heather Knight would be sidelined by hip and hamstring injuries.
It took England three women down with Katherine Brunt already ruled out of the tour by a lower-back problem.
It didn’t show though, bowling first England kept the hosts to 150 for three, which skipper Meg Lanning dominated with an unbeaten 78 in 54 balls.
Off-spinner Danni Hazell opened the bowling and trapped Elyse Villani lbw at the end of the first over.
Alex Blackwell responded but was run out for 21. Wyatt then struck with her off-spin when Jess Cameron holed out to long-on to go for 16.
Ellyse Perry reached 29 in an unbroken stand of 77 alongside Lanning.
Edwards gave a succession of fours and kept England on target.
With her fifty up, Edwards was confident and raised the game and victory was found.
Edwards’ score is a new best for England.
Their previous T20I-best was Lydia Greenway’s 80 not out – the score that secured the Ashes with one match to spare at the Ageas Bowl last summer.
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