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England Women lose IT20 and Women’s Ashes at Hove

Saturday 29th August 2015


Australia regained the Women's Ashes after beating England by 20 runs at Hove to take an unassailable 10-4 lead in the series.

England bowled superbly on a slow pitch to restrict the Southern Stars to 107 for seven but they never recovered from a disastrous start to their reply and were bowled out for 87, their lowest score in a T20 international.

Ellyse Perry and Rene Farrell both took two wickets in an over as England were left reeling on 28 for five after their six-over power play.

Katherine Brunt (20) and Kent's Lydia Greenway top-scored (26) to do their best to revive England in front of a full house of nearly 6,000 but when Brunt played on in Megan Schutt's first over, having helped put on 25 for the sixth wicket, there was no way back.

England had lost skipper Charlotte Edwards (eight) in the second over, when she played on to Jess Jonassen, but they were dealt a double blow in the next over by Perry.

Opener Lauren Winfield was caught at mid off from a mistimed drive and Natalie Sciver played all around a length ball.

Farrell then had Sarah Taylor caught at mid on and then bowled Heather Knight four balls later.

Left-hander Greenway made 26 from 39 balls, the highest score of the match, before Jonassen superbly caught her on the long-on boundary off the first ball of the final over as Australia won the Ashes for the first time since 2010.

Australia too had struggled to get any momentum and needed a cameo from Jess Cameron, who made 21 off 17 balls at the end of the innings.

They struggled after losing three wickets in 11 balls halfway through the innings, including captain Meg Lanning, who was one of two victims for Rebecca Grundy,

Lanning had put on 29 for the second wicket after Perry had been caught at mid-wicket in the fourth over off Brunt, who managed to get some life out of the surface in a testing spell down the slope.

Lanning looked in the mood to play a decisive role, hitting two superbly timed fours, one through extra cover and the other past backward point, on her way to 21 before she attempted an ugly leg-side heave and was lbw.

Elyse Villani, Alyssa Healy and Grace Harris all got out playing across the line, although Harris did swing Danielle Hazell over mid-wicket for six as Australia briefly escaped the shackles imposed by a disciplined attack.

Anya Shrubsole was the pick of England's attack, bowling a consistent length at decent pace to pick up two for nine, including the dangerous Grace Harris for 14.

Cameron provided some improvisation at the end, with a scoop over wicketkeeper Taylor and a reverse sweep going to the boundary to get her side over 100, and a total that proved more than enough.

Edwards accepted her side had lost to the better team.

"It's disappointing, but Australia completely outplayed us in the series and they deserve to win the Ashes," the England skipper said.

"After winning at Chelmsford (in the first T20 on Wednesday) we came into the game with the belief that we could do something really special (on Friday). I thought we did brilliantly with the ball and we should have chased 108, but we just weren't good enough. There was some poor shot selection, although I thought Australia fielded really well.

"We haven' batted well throughout the series, really, and losing the Ashes will hurt for a while. But 2016 is a big year for us, including the T20 World Cup, and I think we have the players to bounce back."

Lanning was thrilled to have regained the urn.

"It's nice to get our hands back on those Ashes," the Australia captain said. "We came here with a really good squad and we were confident we could win them again.

"We didn't bat well (on Friday night) but we got five wickets in the powerplay and that set the tone, and I thought our fielding was the best it's been in the series. Everyone stepped up and players like Ellyse Perry and Rene Farrell led the way – they were superb.

"It's an amazing feeling to win the Ashes here in England, especially after such an all-round performance against a quality England side. I'm sure we'll have a good celebration (on Friday night) but we want to finish the series with a good performance in the last T20 in Cardiff on Monday."

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