Australia Women 169-3 (Blackwell 54no) beat
England Women 168 (Sthalekar 3-30) by 7 wickets
Quadrangular ODI Series, Lord's
Australia Women ended England Women's unbeaten run this summer with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory at Lord's to lay down a marker ahead of the two side's repeat meeting in the final at Wormsley.
England's batting, up until now a huge strength, was undone as they were dismissed for 168 and half-centuries from Alex Blackwell and Shelley Nitschke saw Australia past their target with 15 overs to spare.
Off-spinner Lisa Sthalekar returned three for 30 while Clea Smith and Sarah Coyte both took two wickets as England were dismissed in 48 overs.
They never fully recovered from being reduced to 26 for four early on and despite Lydia Greenway (34) and Holly Colvin (29) fighting back, their score looked inadequate.
By contrast, Australia started strongly and didn't look back with Nitschke (53) and Meg Lanning (43) putting on 54 for the opening wicket.
England struck to having Lanning caught by Arran Brindle off Colvin and then Leah Poulton caught by Sarah Taylor off Danielle Wyatt for nought but Australia rebuilt again.
Blackwell stroked an unbeaten 54 before Nitschke - in her penultimate match before retirement - was run out by Greenway, leaving Blackwell and Jess Cameron (10 not out) to ease Australia to victory.
"It was a disappointing performance today. We didn’t get the runs on the board," England captain Charlotte Edwards said.
"We knew we would have to take early wickets to give ourselves any chance of defending 168, especially at Lord’s.
"It wasn’t to be today but we’ll put this down to a bad day at the office and move on. We have another chance against Australia at Wormsley and will take all our positives from previous performances in the series into the final on Thursday."
© Cricket World 2011