Monday 11 February 2008 

Australia Women Level Series With 41-Run Win

Australia Women 211-9 (A Blackwell 61, Nitschke 50, Davies 4-47)
England Women 170 (Edwards 44, Perry 3-30)
Australia won by 41 runs; series tied at 2-2

A 41-run win for Australia Women ensured that the One Day International series against England ended with honours even, as with one of the five games washed out, the scoreline finished 2-2.

Australia scored 211 for nine before England were bowled out for 170 in 46.3 overs at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The platform for Australia's score was laid by openers Shelley Nitschke (50) and Alex Blackwell (61). The pair added 90 in 24.1 overs before useful contributions from Lisa Sthalekar (28) and Kate Blackwell (23) boosted them late on.

Débutante Stephanie Davies was the pick of the England bowlers, taking four for 47 and there was a wicket each for Nicola Shaw, Jenny Gunn, Holly Colvin, Rosalie Birch and Laura Marsh.

England found batting far tougher than their Australian counterparts, as yet again Ellyse Perry took quick wickets, removing openers Sarah Taylor (22) and Beth Morgan (four), trapped in front, before returning to remove Davies late on for another impressive haul of three for 30.

From 68 for three, England rallied in the shape of Charlotte Edwards, who hit 44, and Lydia Greenway, who contributed 42 in a stand worth exactly 50 before the fall of Edwards, caught by Perry off of Sthalekar, precipitated a collapse and England soon found themselves staring down the barrel at 149 for seven.

There was to be no way back with Birch the last wicket to fall for 14 as Emma Sampson (two for 30) swiftly wrapped up the tail.

After the game, England captain Edwards commented: "We’re bitterly disappointed that we didn’t manage to clinch the series here today. We didn’t bowl or field well enough as a unit and to get 211 on a worn wicket was always going to be a hard ask.

“Having said that it’s fantastic to draw a series against Australia in Australia and I’m really proud of all the girls’ efforts over the last week and look forward to the Test match in Bowral which starts at the end of the week.”

Débutante Davies added: "It was really exciting to make my debut and play my first international for England at the S.C.G. I started nervously, but then got back into it towards the end to get four wickets.

"It was really hard to begin with and the Australian batters were really going for it. If you didn’t get the ball in the right areas they’d take advantage and punish you for it.

"We’re obviously disappointed not to win the series – we had been playing good enough cricket to win it, but we’re confident going through to the Ashes on Friday."

The two teams now move on to Bowral, where one Test will be played to decide the Ashes from February 15th to 18th. England, as holders, only need to draw to retain them.

© Cricket World 2008

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