Women’s Ashes : 1st ODI – Australia beat England in a thrilling low-scoring encounter

The Women’s Ashes kicked off on 2nd July 2019 with Australia facing England in Leicester in the First ODI. In a series that was forecasted to be dominated by the bat, the first ODI proved just the opposite. The bowlers from both sides ended up having a great time on the field with Australia beating England by a narrow margin of just 2 wickets. 

Women's Ashes : 1st ODI - Australia beat England in a thrilling low-scoring encounter

Australian captain Meg Lanning won the toss and opted to field first taking into account the pitch and the conditions and the bowlers did not disappoint. In just the second over of the innings, Ellyse Perry took out England’s in-form opener Amy Jones for a three-ball duck. She also accounted for Tammy Beaumont for 16 and Heather Knight, the England captain, with a first-ball duck. Megan Schutt also took out the veteran England wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor cheaply to have England reeling at 19 for the loss of 4 wickets.

Natalie Sciver and Fran Wilson, who scored 91 runs in the recent warm-up game, looked at rebuilding the innings and added 25 runs for the fifth wicket but Jess Jonassen struck to pin Fran Wilson in front of the wicket on 15. However, replays showed that the ball had struck the glove first. But due to the absence of DRS, she had no choice but to walk off. Katherine Brunt added another 54 runs with Nat Sciver to take England towards the 100-run mark but she too fell to Delissa Kimmince for 20 runs. Anya Shrubsole was picked out by Ashleigh Gardner with the score on 103.

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Jess Jonassen return for another spell to account for the important wicket of Nat Sciver, who was trying to hold the innings together. She got out LBW for 64 runs off 95 balls. With that wicket, England had managed to reach only 135 runs for the loss of 8 wickets and in the danger of being bowled out under 150. However, Laura Marsh and Sophie Ecclestone stitched a partnership of 38 runs for the ninth wicket before Ecclestone was dismissed by Gardner for a run-a-ball 27. Kate Cross was dismissed subsequently with the England innings finally coming to a close for 177 all out. Ellyse Perry was the most successful bowler for Australia picking up 3 wickets. Megan Schutt, Jess Jonassen and Ashleigh Gardner picked up 2 wickets each and Delissa Kimmince picked up 1 wicket as well.

In reply, Australia lost their opener Nicole Bolton cheaply falling to England’s strike bowler Anya Shrubsole. Alyssa Healy kept the scoreboard ticking with small contributions from the middle-order but no one was able to stay with her as they lost regular wickets to reach 92 for 4 in 23 overs. Alyssa Healy herself fell for 66 runs of 71 balls with the score on 105 to give England hope and to bring the match in balance. Beth Mooney stuck 25 off 30 balls to tilt the match in Australia’s favour but Laura Marsh dismissed her to keep England interested. Jess Jonassen and Delissa Kimmince kept the scoreboard moving. Jess fell to Sophie Ecclestone but Kimmince held on to hit the winning runs and secure victory for Australia by 2 wickets.

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Among the England bowlers, Sophie Ecclestone was the pick of the bowlers taking 3 wickets for 34 runs in 10 overs. Laura Marsh picked up 2 wickets for 31 runs in her 7 overs. Anya Shrubsole, Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver picked up a wicket each.

The loss ended England’s winning streak across all formats at 14 wins. Australia opened the campaign with a hard-fought win and gained 2 points for their effort. The second ODI will be played on the same ground on July 4th with England hoping to square the series and take the series to the decider in Canterbury.

England – 177 all out (46.5 overs)

Natalie Sciver 64 (95)

Ellyse Parry 3/43 (7)

Australia – 178/8 (42.3 overs)

Alyssa Healy 66 (71)

Sophie Ecclestone 3/34 (10)

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