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England Women’s Academy draw Australia series in Dubai

Thursday 9th April 2015

Women

Kent's Tammy Beaumont and Tash Farrant helped England Women’s Academy (EWA) level the four-match series against Australia Women Shooting Stars with a dramatic win in Dubai.

England could only post 177 in the first innings and looked set for a comprehensive loss before a superb fightback ended the series at 2-2.

Four wickets apiece for Jodie Dibble and Alex Hartley sealed a dramatic four-run win at the International Cricket Council Academy.

After winning the toss, Beaumont (pictured above) chose to bat first but England made a shaky start and lost the early wickets of the captain and Sofie Luff to an excellent new-ball spell from Nicola Hancock.

Evelyn Jones and Fran Wilson stabilised the innings, but it looked to be ending for a premature end when they fell in quick succession to leave the score on 49 for four.

Georgia Elwiss, who has been in fine form throughout the series, once again batted with fluency and a crucially timed partnership of 61 for the fifth wicket with Natalie Sciver rescues the innings.

Sciver and Alex MacDonald each hit 23 in support of Elwiss, who eventually fell 47 from 29 balls, which included seven boundaries.

The lower order, aided by a total of 24 extras, added some useful runs to help England post a competitive 177 at the halfway stage.

Australia looked to be cruising towards victory having reached 80 for two, but Hartley and Dibble combined to skittle the middle order and reduce them to 129 for seven.

Dibble finished with four of the top five to her name, and recorded figures of 4-35 before Stephanie Butler helped Hartley put the breaks on.

Hartley took the key wicket of Megan Banting for 24 en route to figures of 4-41 that took England to the brink of a dramatic victory, before Sciver entered the fray and took the final wicket to fall and level the series.

Beaumont admitted it had been a nervy end to the game, telling ecb.co.uk: "Luckily we stayed calm under quite a lot of pressure in the end, it was very nerve-wracking but perhaps worse for the coaches and girls on the side.

"We felt we batted under-par, but to defend 177 is a real achievement and something we can be proud of."

On her bowlers, the England captain added: "We tried to get them into the attack early and it worked. Jodie bowled really really well and Alex and Steph Butler as well created pressure in the middle."

"It’s a format we feel comfortable with. We will look to play a positive brand of cricket and hopefully it will be a good performance."

With the 50-over series finished, EWA will take on the Shooting Stars in two Twenty20 matches, starting on Saturday.

Australia take on Englandat The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrencein the only Women's Ashes Test Match as part of an extended Canterbury Week this summer.

Entry to the Women’s Ashes Kia Test on August 11-14 and Kent v Australia men on June 25-28 is included in Kent All Rounder and Championship Plus Memberships and is an option for Six Pack package holders.

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