Nat Sciver-Brunt’s Century Floors Australia in the 3rd ODI as they clinch the ODI series

Coming into the ODI series the scoreline of the Ashes was at 4-6 in favor of Australia, with the home side staging a comeback. England leveled the series with a victory in the first ODI. However, they failed to regain the Ashes courtesy of their defeat in the 2nd ODI at Southampton. In this article, we will discuss how things panned out in the 3rd ODI at Taunton.

Nat Sciver-Brunt’s Century Floors Australia in the 3rd ODI as they clinch the ODI series
Nat Sciver-Brunt’s Century Floors Australia in the 3rd ODI as they clinch the ODI series

Australian skipper Alyssa Healy won the toss and opted to field first in the third ODI. The home side had to make a forced change, courtesy of the unavailability of Sarah Glenn, the right-arm off-spinner Charlie Dean replaced her in the playing 11. While the visitors stuck with the same playing 11 from the 2nd ODI. Even though the home side lost the Ashes, they had everything to play for, standing with an opportunity to beat Australia in the ODI series.

England got off to the worst possible start losing both their openers Sophia Dunkley (2 off 13) and Tammy Beaumont (4 off 7) inside four overs. Righ-arm off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner provided the first breakthrough for Australia. Vice-captain Nat Sciver-Brunt joined England skipper Heather Knight at the crease and the duo led the fightback for the home side with a 147-run partnership for the third wicket.

The duo continued their good form in the series as they completed their individual half-centuries through the course of their partnership. Just when they were about to step on the accelerator, they lost their skipper Heather Knight (67 off 72 balls), trying to go down the track, with a heave across the line, and ended up completely missing the ball, seeing her stumps getting rattled. Leg-spinner Alana King provided the much-needed breakthrough for the visitors.

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Right-hand batter Alice Capsey failed to make an impression with the bat as she was dismissed cheaply by Jess Jonassen she was unable to get the elevation on her shot as a result she handed an easy catch to Annabel Sutherland. Danni Wyatt joined Nat Sciver-Brunt, D Wyatt took the aggressor’s route and scored a quick-fire 43 off 25 balls, at a strike rate of 172, and that infused much-needed momentum into the innings. Her knock included four boundaries and a couple of maximums. Nat Sciver-Brunt continued to play 2nd fiddle to Wyatt. Ashleigh Gardner dismissed Danni Wyatt, who was looking in ominous touch.

England ended their innings with a strong total on the board (285/9), courtesy of a scintillating knock from Nat Sciver-Brunt, she completed her second consecutive century (129 off 149 balls) in the ODI series. Her knock included 15 boundaries and a maximum. Ashleigh Gardner and Jess Jonassen were the pick of the bowlers for Australia.

Chasing a total of 286, Australia got off to a similar start as they lost both their openers inside the three overs of the run chase. Lauren Bell provided the first breakthrough for England by dismissing the 20-year-old opener Phoebe Litchfield. Tahlia McGrath joined Ellyse Perry and the duo steadied the innings with a 53-run partnership for the 2nd wicket. A rain interruption resulted in a curtailed run chase and the game was reduced to 44 overs and the target was revised to 269 runs. England came back with a spirited performance led by Kate Cross, picking up the wickets of Ellyse Perry and Beth Mooney. Ellyse Perry completed her half-century before getting dismissed.

Ashleigh Gardner kept the hopes alive but eventually lost her wicket as she was found short of her crease at the non-striker’s end and as a result was unable to guide her side to victory in the 3rd ODI. Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals, and the lack of substantial partnerships resulted in a 69-run loss for the visitors. Kate Cross (3/48) and Sophie Ecclestone (1/21) were the pick of the bowlers for England.

All-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt was awarded the Player of the Match for her exceptional all-round performance scoring a match-winning knock of 129 runs with the bat and picking up one wicket with an impressive economy of 5.66 with the ball. She now has four centuries in her last five outings against Australia. Her knock of 129 off 149 balls was the first instance where her century ended up in a winning cause for her side. Her consecutive centuries in ODIs played an instrumental role in helping England clinch the ODI series and end the Ashes series on a high note.

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