Australia thrashed, loses ODI series, draws women’s Ashes

England's Lauren Bell celebrates bowling out Australia's Alyssa Healy.

England's Lauren Bell celebrates bowling out Australia's Alyssa Healy. Photo: AAP

Australia have been beaten in an ODI series for the first time in a decade, thrashed by 69 runs by England in the only blow-out of the women’s Ashes.

Set a revised target of 269 off 44 overs inTaunton on Tuesday, having initially been asked to make their second-highest successful chase of 286, Australia stumbled after the rain break, then crumbled from 6-190 to 199 all out off 35.3 overs.

Only Ellyse Perry, with 53 off 58 balls, and Ashleigh Gardner with a blazing 41 off 24, mustered serious resistance.

It was Australia’s worst loss in terms of runs since 2008, and England’s biggest win over Australia since their first ODI against them in 1973.

Victory in Southampton on Sunday meant Australia had already retained the Ashes, but they have not won the series, which was drawn 8-8 on the points format.

England actually won more matches, four to three, taking eight of the last ten points, but Australia won the Test which was worth four points while the six white-ball matches were worth two apiece.

“We’ve got the trophy but we’re not happy about not winning this series,” said Alyssa Healy.

The Australian skipper said she was happy to be going home with the Ashes trophy — “we ticked that off,” but added: “We haven’t lost an ODI series for a very long period of time. It feels a bit dirty of the end of the day.”

“It feels like a moral victory”, said Nat Sciver Brunt, who anchored England’s 9-285 with a second successive century. She hit 129 off 149 balls as the hosts recovered from a bad start to post their highest ODI score.

Australia have only once chased a higher total to win, but the Somerset ground is a high-scoring venue so they had reason to believe.

Healy had put England in and opened with spinner Gardner, who soon dismissed the out-of-form Sophia Dunkley. More significant was Megan Schutt bowling the in-form Tammy Beaumont cheaply.

That brought England’s most experienced pair, Heather Knight and Sciver-Brunt, to the crease. They rebuilt, slowly at first, then accelerated towards a century partnership.

Having put on 147 Knight was bowled by Alana King for a 72-ball 67 and Alice Capsey holed out off Jess Jonassen soon after.

But Sciver-Brunt, who had been dropped by Tahlia McGrath on 54, to a sharp return chance, moved on to a 126-ball century scoring almost exclusively on the leg side. She became the first player to make four centuries against Australia, all scored in her last five Ashes ODIs.

Danni Wyatt (43 off 25) provided strong support but was bowled by Gardner who then caught Sciver-Brunt off Jonassen on the boundary.

Gardner finished with 3-39 off ten overs and Jonassen 3-30 off five as England’s tail wagged limply.

The tourists also began slowly, being 2-15 with Phoebe Litchfield (1) caught first slip and Healy (7) bowled.

Perry and McGrath (26) took the score to 68 before the latter was stumped. Beth Mooney joined Perry but nine runs later rain arrived.

When the teams returned Australia needed another 172 runs from 148 balls. Perry moved past her half-century, smashing a no-ball free-hit for six but was then caught off a leading edge.

Mooney went soon after (16) but Gardner came in to smack sixes square and straight. But then she chanced a second run to Wyatt and was run-out.

After Amy Jones pulled off another smart stumping to dismiss Georgia Wareham (14 off nine) the end came quickly. Annabel Sutherland was bowled for 18, King caught behind for a duck and Jonassen last out for five.


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