England Women 259-6 (S Taylor 120, C Taylor 42) beat
Australia Women 204 (Nitschke 47, Marsh 3-33) by 55 runs
Second One-Day International, Chelmsford
By John Pennington
A sublime century, her third in One-Day Internationals, from Sarah Taylor and three wickets apiece from Laura Marsh and Nicki Shaw set England up for a 55-run win over Australia that put them 2-0 up in their five-match series in Chelmsford.
Taylor's brilliance enabled England to post a commanding score of 259 for six and the wicket-keeper then claimed a catch and a stumping as Australia were bowled out for 204.Marsh's off-spin contributed to an alarming collapse as Australia went from 87 for one to 141 for seven while captain Shaw returned three for 39 by grabbing the final two wickets to fall.
Still missing Charlotte Edwards and having also lost Lydia Greenway to illness, England won the toss and chose to bat, Taylor playing beautifully in making 120 in 120 balls to lay the foundations for England's score.
An excellent new-ball partnership between Sarah Andrews (2-46) and Rene Farrell (1-33) put England firmly on the back foot early on and Farrell's impressive control of swing into the right-hand batters saw Caroline Atkins trapped on the crease giving the umpire an easy lbw decision before she had scored.
Taylor was joined in the middle by namesake Claire and circumspection against the new ball bowlers gave way to aggression and acceleration as left-arm spinner Shelley Nitschke and seamer Ellyse Perry failed to keep the pressure up.
Claire made 42 with six fours in a partnership worth 95 before she cut off-spinner Lisa Sthalekar into the gloves of wicket-keeper Jodie Fields but the tempo was maintained by Sarah alongside Beth Morgan (41).
Morgan overcame a slow start, hitting three boundaries in quick succession during a bright and breezy knock that saw her hit four in total from her 55 deliveries faced and she added 86 with Taylor before she was trapped in front by Andrews.
Taylor completed her century with a deft flick around the corner and her knock included 12 boundaries, most of them beautifully timed off the back foot in the early half of the innings and she followed up her innings of 68 in the opening match with more dominance against the spin, using her feet to good effect with some inside-out drives that would have graced any game at any level.
She was eventually run out, which was beginning to look like the only way Australia were going to dismiss her, with five overs and one ball to go as she and Ebony Rainford-Brent tried to steal a single after an lbw appeal was turned down.
As England continued to push for quick runs late on, Jenny Gunn (5) was well caught at cover by Lauren Ebsary as Andrews picked up another well-deserved wicket.
Rainford-Brent was much more successful, hitting a couple of boundaries as she finished unbeaten on 30 from 32 balls before Perry bounced back to have Nicki Shaw caught by Ebsary off the final ball of the innings.
Just as they did in the opening match, which they won by nine wickets, England struck early when Leah Poulton (2) was caught and bowled by Katherine Brunt but this time the collapse was deferred by innings of substance from Nitschke (47), Sthalekar (43) and Karen Rolton (32).
England bowled unusually loosely in the opening Power Play, offering the batters plenty of boundaries and some clean striking through the covers enabled Nitschke and Sthalekar to add 85 for the second wicket before Nitschke was bowled by a superb ball from Marsh.
It was almost a mirror image of Shane Warne's ball of the century, drifting toward's Nitschke's leg stumps before pitching and spinning to clip off stump, beating the outside edge of the left-hander's bat.
Despite the flying start that had kept them well within range of England's score, Australia then went into their shells and lost four big wickets for the addition of just 27 runs when Sthalekar, Jodie Fields, Alex Blackwell, and Rolton were dismissed as England regained control.
A slower ball from Shaw was driven to short cover by Sthalekar where Claire Taylor made no mistake, Fields (0) was brilliantly run out by Isa Guha after a misunderstanding with Rolton left her well short, Blackwell (3) was sharply stumped by Sarah Taylor, who then had Rolton caught as she tried to dance down the track and flick Marsh, who also dismissed Blackwell, through the on-side.
Australia desperately needed the experienced Rolton to bat through, but she never looked settled at the crease and England had by then forgotten that Brunt had earlier dropped fellow left-hander Nitschke early in the pace at midwicket. The wickets continued to tumble when left-arm spinner Holly Colvin had Farrell trapped in front for five to leave Australia at 141 for seven and staring down the barrel.
However, Lauren Ebsary (38) and Perry (17) weren't about to give up, the pair taking 12 runs off Isa Guha when she returned after an expensive opening spell but it took another superb piece of fielding to end their partnership of 21 with Gunn fielding off her own bowling, turning, and throwing down the stumps in one movement to leave Perry short of her ground.
Andrews was then clean bowled by Shaw for three and she repeated the trick to dismiss Ebsary, leaving Erin Osbourne unbeaten on 11as Australia were bowled out for 204 in 43.4 overs.
© Cricket World 2009