England 6 for 144 (Greenway 39*, Coyte 3-18) beat Australia 5 for 140 (Sthalekar 38) by four wickets
England bounced back from the disappointment of losing the one-day series with a four-wicket victory in the opening Twenty20 international as Lydia Greenway guided them home 10 balls to spare at Adelaide. Greenway gained important support from Suzie Rowe and despite a flurry of wickets in the closing overs England had enough in the tank.
Greenway, a vital source of experience in the absence of Claire and Sarah Taylor, added 43 for the fourth wicket with Rowe after Australia had made inroads, but the home side fought back and when Fran Wilson was bowled by Sarah Coyte they still had a chance. However, Greenway was gifted another boundary when Lisa Sthalekar misfielded at cover and the victory came with four wides down the leg side.
Ellyse Perry was taken for 13 off the opening over with Charlotte Edwards (16) collecting boundaries off the first two balls of the innings. England were well ahead of the required rate when Edwards gave her innings away by reverse sweeping to cover.
Laura Marsh scored at a run-a-ball before falling to Lisa Sthalekar's first delivery and Danielle Wyatt (16) was well stumped by Alysaa Healy to leave England 3 for 59 in the ninth over. The chase was being throttled, but England found crucial momentum when firstly Greenway and then Rowe struck sixes over the leg side. Suddenly the required rate was back to a run-a-ball and England resorted to tip-and-run batting.
Australia didn't give up, though, and Perry returned to have Rowe lbw and Coyte struck twice in the 17th over including a fine yorker to remove Wilson for a duck but Greenway remained cool until the end.
England made a poor start in the field with two early dropped chances, but pulled their performance around with a strong emphasis on spin. Isha Guha was the only pace bowler used during the innings as the visitors tried to take the pace off the ball.
Holly Colvin, the left-arm spinner, removed Shelley Nitschke (17) with Greenway taking a fine catch in the deep then Colvin held onto a sharp caught-and-bowled when Leah Poulton (26) chipped a full toss straight back to her.
At 3 for 63 the innings was stuttering before the experienced pair of captain Alex Blackwell and Sthalekar produced an important partnership of 58 in eight overs. Both players found the boundary twice and ran hard between the wickets, but in the end Australia made too many mistakes in the field.