England 9 for 249 beat Australia Under-21s by 75 runs
England women finally got the result they were looking for, beating Australia Under-21s by 75 runs in what could be the boost to kick-start their Australasian tour which had started with two heavy defeats. Charlotte Edwards had promised they would be bounce back, and they did, with their batting finally firing to add 9 for 249 against the Shooting Stars who had beaten them earlier this week.
Beth Morgan, who had started with two failures, came good with a fifty, as did fellow opener Sarah Taylor, the pair lifting England with a 134-run stand. Morgan employed the sweep to good effect while Taylor thrilled the crowd with her customary over-the-top hitting.
It was the platform they needed, with the smooth Edwards, timing the ball as well as ever, and Lydia Greenway then each adding 31. A bizarre hat-trick of run-outs followed in a frenetic last over yielding four runs and four run-outs as England lost six wickets in the last four overs.
The Shooting Stars were up with the run-rate until Rosalie Birch dismissed opener Rachael Haynes for 37 and struck again through Claire Taylor's catch at mid-on. Birch went on to claim 3 for 21 from her 10 overs.
Laura Marsh also bowled tightly to restrict the U21s in an eight-over spell worth 23. Isa Guha and captain Edwards chipped in to take two wickets apiece while their were two fantastic run-outs which helped dismiss them for 174.
"I'm really pleased with how the girls responded," said a beaming Edwards. "Our batting was positive and we're back to somewhere near our best." Head coach Mark Dobson added: "At various stages throughout the three matches we have either batted, bowled or fielded well. Now we need to combine each of these disciplines consistently throughout the forthcoming series."
This is England's third match outside since September and so they will be pleased with their progress so far, with the crucial time in the middle.