Women's Ashes 2013: Charlotte Edwards leads from the front as aggressive England level series

England Women 256 Australia Women 205 (England won by 51 runs)

County Ground

England demolished Australia in the second one-day international to level the Women’s Ashes Series here yesterday as their captain, Charlotte Edwards, led the way for the hosts, posting a dominant half-century in a convincing 51-run victory over the tourists.

However, it was the bowlers who did the real damage, supported by some outstanding work in the field, as England ripped through the Australia batting line-up. The victory leaves the multi-format series evenly poised with both teams on four points.

It was a confidence-restoring win for the home side after a dramatic collapse at Lord’s three days earlier had given Australia the upper hand in the first of three 50-over matches.

Anya Shrubsole’s economical figures of 1 for 27 from 10 overs earned her the player of the match award but she was backed up by fellow seamer Katherine Brunt (2 for 36) and left-arm spinner Holly Colvin (2 for 46). England were sharp in the field after setting Australia a target of 257 for victory, snaring three run-outs as Australia were forced to push the singles.

After Edwards won the toss and elected to bat, she was joined by an  aggressive Heather Knight for an opening partnership of 45, until seamer Megan Schutt dismissed Knight in the seventh over for a 31 that featured six boundaries.

Sarah Taylor picked up where Knight had left off, and gave Edwards solid support, the pair piling on 70 runs for the next wicket before Australia brought Jess Jonassen into the attack. The left-arm spinner had immediate success, bowling Taylor for 32 and then Edwards for 53 in an impressive spell.

With England at 150 for 3, Australia were no doubt hoping for a repeat of the hosts’ collapse at Lord’s. But those hopes were dashed thanks to a solid 77 partnership between Lydia Greenway and Arran Brindle, which took England past 200.

Sarah Coyte accounted for the pair in quick succession, Greenway falling four runs short of a half-century, while Brindle made 42 before she was tempted forward, only to be stumped by Jodie Fields.

Playing in just her third one day international for England, the all-rounder Natalie Sciver blasted an unbeaten 26 off 20 balls to set Australia a competitive target on a batter-friendly deck.

England’s opening bowlers struck immediately, Rachael Haynes spooning an easy catch to mid-off in the third over, the second time the opener has fallen to Brunt without scoring. Haynes’ wicket was soon followed by that of Meg Lanning, also for a duck, in Shrubsole’s second over, leaving Australia scrambling at 2 for 2.

Jess Cameron and captain Fields tried to steady the innings, but the latter was caught on 20 seeking to smash Laura Marsh over mid-on. From there, the run rate slowed and Cameron ran out of partners, eventually succumbing to a ball from Brunt which scattered the bails. Australia were unable to last the 50 overs, England’s slick fielding and the spin of Colvin cleaning up the tail with 10 balls remaining.

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