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Friday 27th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Australians take four-point lead with rain-hit victory in second ODI

SKIPPER Rachael Haynes produced a brutal innings as Australia took complete control of the Women’s Ashes with a 75-run Duckworth-Lewis victory over England yesterday in the rain-affected second one-day international at Coffs Harbour.

After Nicole Bolton, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry all struck half-centuries, Haynes took the game away from England by blasting an unbeaten 89 off just 56 balls to lift the hosts to 296 for six having lost the toss.

England, faced with a revised target of 285 from 46 overs, were never at the races and were dismissed for 209, despite a maiden ODI half-century from number seven Katherine Brunt.

Australia’s second consecutive victory gave them a four-point lead in the multiformat series, meaning they only need another four from the remaining ODI, one-off day-night Test and three Twenty20s to retain the Ashes.

Heather Knight’s decision to bowl first soon backfired as Bolton and Healy racked up an opening partnership of 98 in 20 overs.

Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone provided some light relief for the tourists on her Ashes debut, bowling Healy for 56, but that only brought Bolton and Perry together.

The pair added 63 for the second wicket until England struck twice in short order, Alex Hartley bowling Bolton for 66 and Jenny Gunn having Elyse Villani caught behind.

Yet England’s joy was short-lived due to the form of Perry and Haynes, who had taken their stand to 86 when the former was stumped by Sarah Taylor off Gunn, leaving her captain to take control of the latter stages of the innings.

Haynes took the wind out of England’s sails, hitting nine fours and three sixes as Australia bludgeoned 94 off the final 10 overs, with Gunn taking two late wickets to finish with four for 55.

England were soon in trouble at 20 for two as Lauren Winfield fell to the third ball and Tammy Beaumont soon followed, both lbw to Megan Schutt, either side of a brief rain delay which accounted for four overs and a reduced target.

Taylor and Knight gave England hope with a half-century stand, after Perry was taken out of the attack for bowling two beamers in an over, but both departed along with dangerwoman Nat Sciver for the addition of just 14 runs.

From 91 for five Fran Wilson and Brunt stopped Australia’s charge, yet England still had too much to do with 149 required from the final 16 overs.

Wilson holed out to Perry off Schutt for 37, ending a stand of 68 with Brunt, who blasted her side’s first six in the 35th over en route to a battling 50.

But with the required run-rate rising to 12, Brunt attempted a paddle-sweep and was bowled for a 54-ball 52 by Schutt, who finished with four for 26, to end England’s faint hopes of levelling the series.