Women's Ashes 2019: Australia take series lead with nervous ODI win against England

Australia (178-8) beat England (177 all out) and claimed two to begin the all-format Ashes series

Jack Watson
Tuesday 02 July 2019 21:15
Elysse Perry was in fine form in the open match of the Ashes series
Elysse Perry was in fine form in the open match of the Ashes series

Australia took a 2-0 lead in the multi-format 2019 Ashes series against England with a nervy two-wicket victory in the first one-day international at Leicester.

Two points are available for winning any of the three ODIs and three T20s, while four points are on offer for the winner of the Test match.

Australia won the toss and elected to bowl, a decision that proved to be correct when they Ellyse Perry ripped through England’s top order. Amy Jones and Tammy Beaumont were at the crease for 16 balls between them before they were heading back to the pavilion.

With Sarah Taylor going for one run and Heather Knight falling for one and a eight-ball duck, England were staring to the abyss with 19/4 on the scoreboard in the fifth over.

Australia had England right where they wanted them, but could not capitalise on their early start as Natalie Sciever rescued the carnage that ensued before her.

Her 64 off 95 balls offered some kind of resistance and stopped the whole thing being wrapped up before teatime.

Fran Wilson (15), who was wrongly given out lbw after gloving the ball with no review available, and Katherine Brunt (20) chipped in alongside Sciever before Laura Marsh (24) and Sophie Ecclestone's career best score (27) put together a tenth wicket partnership to repair some of the earlier damage.

After the innings break, Australia then tried their absolute best to make an absolute meal of measly 177 run chase.

The visitors were going well after Alyssa Healy’s 66 off 101 eased them into the innings, but a middle order collapse left the tailenders scrambling to complete the job, Jess Jonassen (19) and Delissa Kimmince (14) with a match-winning partnership late in the game.

Kimmince was reprieved when Anya Shrubsole dropped a simple catch off her own bowling and took advantage to see Australia home with 14 not out, victory sealed by five wides from a Brunt's delivery.

England captain Heather Knight fell for an eight-ball duck

England captain, Knight, praised the Ecclestone and Brunt’s late efforts but lamented the fragility in the top order. "I thought Sophie Ecclestone and Katherine Brunt did really well. We fought hard, I disappointed with the way we batted, we lost too many early wickets,” she said.

"We needed to absorb pressure a bit more and find a way to throw punches a bit more but I'm proud of how the girls got us to a total but it wasn't enough today.

"We want to be positive, that's how we want to play. It wasn't aggressive shots that got us out, it was soft dismissals today."

Australia all-rounder, Ellyse Parry finished with three wickets for 43 runs and challenged her teammates to deliver the same level of performances with the bat and the ball.

"It was a weird one today. Every time we felt comfortable during the chase we lost a wicket, it was nice to be on the winning side and get first blood.

"As a group we bowled incredibly well. I was probably a little bit loose at times but as a team and bowling group I thought it was a really great performance and its nice in a series to make a statement like that."

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