13 Days Remaining

Monday 30th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Hosts still lead by two points in multiformat series as teams prepare for Test

SARAH TAYLOR quickly turned her attention to the crucial day-night Test after England Women won the third one-day international to collect their first points of the Ashes yesterday morning.

Their top order put on a batting masterclass to claim a 20-run Duckworth-Lewis victory in a rain-affected match at Coffs Harbour.

The tourists put up their highest-ever ODI total against Australia, chalking up 284 for eight in their 50 overs.

The weather reduced the Australian target to 278 in their 48 overs but, just as England struggled to meet their target in the second ODI, so did Australia on the east coast as the tourists ran out winners.

The sides will now prepare for the start of the one-off Test on November 9 before ending the series with three Twenty­20s.

“We had to put a good target on the board,” England wicketkeeper-batsman Taylor told BBC Test Match Special.

“Australia did get away with the bat but that rain break gave us a chance to regroup.

“We don’t get to play Tests that often, but we’ve put a lot of preparation into playing with the pink ball, so it’s exciting.”

Australia opener Alyssa Healy took a share of the blame for her side’s failed run chase.

“They bowled really well in the middle, got wickets and shut the game down,” she said.

“It was up to one of me or Nicole [Bolton] to guard the run chase — but we got ourselves out.”

England were slow out of the blocks and lost opener Lauren Winfield for a duck in the second over but during the next 20 overs Tammy Beaumont and Taylor kept the scoreboard ticking along, the latter reaching her half-century off 55 balls.

Taylor was caught off the bowling of Megan Schutt for 69, having notched up 12 fours, while Beaumont was dismissed for 74 from 98 deliveries in the 36th over.

However, it was the contribution of skipper Heather Knight with an unbeaten 88 from 80 balls — including five fours and a six — that helped set the tough target.

Australia had won the first two ODIs to hold a 4-0 lead in the series. In last Thursday’s day-night clash the home side scampered to 296 but England were never at the races during their innings.

The same could not really be said of Australia yesterday, with a rain delay breaking the flow of openers Healy and Bolton, going a run a ball until the seventh over.

Healy made her 50 in the 14th — after smashing Sophie Ecclestone for three boundaries from four balls and a single on the last ball of the over completing the milestone.

She would go on to make 71 from 72 balls, but by the time she was caught by Katherine Brunt off the bowling of Alex Hartley, the required run rate had crept up to more than six an over.

Ecclestone got the wicket of Bolton in the 30th over for 62 with Winfield getting the catch, as the home side struggled to take their innings into the next gear.

The Australians lost Ellyse Perry for 23, and then Elyse Villani for eight in the following over to Hartley, who took three wickets for 45 runs off nine overs.

By the time Hartley got her third — Jess Jonassen caught and bowled for six — in the 42nd over, Australia were needing 10 an over.

Jenny Gunn got two wickets in the final over as Australia finished their innings on 257 for nine.