Australia v England, 1st Women's T20I, Hobart

Edwards, Taylor help England women retain Ashes

The Report by Raf Nicholson

January 29, 2014

Comments: 9 | Text size: A | A

England 151 for 1 (Edwards 92*, Taylor 50*, Jonassen 1-18) beat Australia 150 for 3 (Lanning 78*, Perry 29*, Hazell 1-25) by 9 wickets

Charlotte Edwards starts the celebrations after hitting the winning boundary, Australia v England, 1st Women's T20I, Hobart, January 29, 2014
Charlotte Edwards' 59-ball 92 helped England retain the women's Ashes © Getty Images

England made history in Hobart, winning the women's Ashes on Australian soil for only the third time, as their captain Charlotte Edwards, the player of the match, hit 92 off just 59 balls and guided the visitors to a nine-wicket victory with 13 balls to spare. The win leaves England with an unassailable points lead of 10-4 in the series.

Australia had set England a target of 151, which looked to be a tough ask: only three teams have previously successfully chased down scores of over 150 in women's T20Is. But England began with clear intent, as Edwards dispatched two short, wide deliveries from Rene Farrell in the first over to the boundary. She then stroked a further two fours backward of square off Julie Hunter in her second over, giving England 10 runs from it and leaving them strongly placed at 32 for no loss after four overs.

Australia's spinners fared better, with Jess Jonassen taking the only wicket of the innings: Danielle Wyatt, caught at mid-off by a diving Alex Blackwell as she mistimed a drive. Erin Osborne, bowling around the wicket, also achieved a better line against the England batsmen.

Australia's quicks, however, struggled to dry up the runs as England remained consistently ahead of the par score, and Edwards and Sarah Taylor hit out against the pace attack. Even Ellyse Perry was unaccustomedly expensive, giving away 21 runs from her two overs. Edwards' fifty came in the 11th over off just 34 balls, as she played a dream innings that included a glorious six, pulled over midwicket.

There was one chance for Australia, which came in the ninth over with Taylor on 13, as Edwards called for a single and Taylor ran to the striker's end. Alyssa Healy removed the bails, but replays showed that she had fumbled the ball and hit the stumps with her gloves.

Taylor capitalised on the opportunity, as she provided good support for Edwards, with the two of them accumulating a partnership of 114 runs off just 80 balls. Taylor reached her own half-century in the 18th over after which Edwards aptly hit the winning runs, stroking a glorious four through mid-wicket.

'I took it upon myself' - Edwards

  • On retaining the Ashes: "A fantastic feeling. To do it over here is even more special. I'm sure the girls are going to enjoy tonight. It was a fantastic win out there and I'm really proud of the team."
  • On how the victory ranks: "Right at the top. The new Ashes format is by far the toughest. We won the Test match, then to lose the last two ODIs, going in today we were pretty nervous. To play the type of cricket we've played today and win in the fashion we've won, I think makes this extra special."
  • On her innings: "I was pretty determined. Once I got to 30 I realised 'This is a pretty good wicket and I need to be here at the end'. If I was there at the end I knew we'd win the game. Obviously I wasn't going to give away the Ashes. I knew today was a big game in terms of the outcome of the rest of the series. The change of format, it was important we started well. And the longer the series goes on the more nervous we probably get. So I took it upon myself."
  • On the England celebrations: "You don't win the Ashes every day in Australia, and we're going to enjoy it, because this is why we play cricket, to hopefully experience achievements like this."

Australia, on their part, had set a very competitive total after the captain Meg Lanning won the toss and chose to bat. They began badly, losing a wicket in the first over of their innings as Elyse Villani, playing ahead of in-form Nicole Bolton in a bizarre decision by the selectors, continued her poor run of form in internationals, was trapped lbw for 4 to her second attempted sweep shot of the over.

From there, the pressure was on for Australia, as they managed just 30 runs off the first five overs, and struggled to score against the 17-year-old Natasha Farrant, who was drafted into the team in place of the injured Anya Shrubsole, and the spin of Danielle Hazell. Alex Blackwell, promoted to open the batting, had an easy catch dropped by Amy Jones when on 7, but could not capitalise and was run-out for a run-a-ball 21.

The loss of that wicket further slowed things up for Australia, as Natalie Sciver continued to rein in the batters. Then, in the 14th over, Wyatt struck to remove Jess Cameron and the hosts were left struggling at 83 for 3.

Lanning proceeded to rescue the innings, as she and Perry added 50 runs in the last five overs. Lanning raced to a 54-ball 78 and in the process, notched the third-highest score by an Australian in women's T20s. Her partnership with Perry (who contributed 29 off 23 balls) was worth 67 runs for Australia, and left England needing to score at 7.55 an over.

But ultimately, Australia paid for their slow start, and England were left celebrating their historic triumph, as Edwards became the only captain to ever lead the side to two women's Ashes victories in Australia.

Raf Nicholson is a PhD student, an England supporter, a feminist, and fanatical about women's cricket. She tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Harvey on (January 29, 2014, 22:35 GMT)

Well done! At last some winter cheer.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 29, 2014, 19:12 GMT)

Tried commenting earlier but here goes. I'm sure there was another thread where someone was getting all hysterical - that it shouldnt be The Ashes etc

Was a delight , first of all to have some tv coverage in England on this well contested series between the 2 sides. Superb batting by Lotty and Taylor. Our blokes could learn a thing or 2 by watching STs footwork and eagerness to get a run off every ball and what an inns from Lotty.For some reason (embarrassingly) I get a little emotional when our women's side wins - more than the blokes - and seeing Lotty well up like that got me going a bit too

Well played both sides - congrats England

Posted by Dysan25 on (January 29, 2014, 18:33 GMT)

England Women's Cricket Team has been much more consistent than the Men's Cricket Team. A Deserving Win. Well done Ladies..

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 14:59 GMT)

Brilliant. Well done, England Ladies.

Posted by Manxmuppet on (January 29, 2014, 14:52 GMT)

England beat Australia at cricket!........A headline I thought I'd never see again. Well done ladies, you've done us all proud and showed the men how it's done.

Posted by landl47 on (January 29, 2014, 13:19 GMT)

Congratulations to the England side, a great achievement.

Now if only they could pass on a few hints to the men.......

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

Congratulations, a superb win. Edwards needs to be shortlisted for this year's SPOTY, and so does the team!

Posted by A.Ak on (January 29, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

I think we should stop watching England Mens team. Women are far better than them.

Posted by Flash_hard27 on (January 29, 2014, 11:12 GMT)

Superb stuff for the England women, a win to be proud of.

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Raf Nicholson Raf Nicholson is a PhD student who spends her days (and nights) researching the history of women's cricket. Her thesis may or may not end up being titled "Cricket without the balls". She is an England supporter, a feminist, and fanatical about women's cricket, but will admit that Michael Clarke is hot stuff. She has been known to bowl entire overs of wides and to bat like Phil Tufnell, but isn't always quite this good. @RafNicholson
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