Taylor Record Puts England On The Brink

Sarah Taylor hits out during her record-breaking innings of 77
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 146-4 (Taylor 77, Wyatt 28) beat
Australia 131-5 (Cameron 35) by 15 runs
Women's Ashes 1st T20I, Chelmsford

Sarah Taylor scored a national record of 77 to set up a 15-run for England over Australia in the first Women's Ashes Twenty20 International in Chelmsford.

As England defended 146 for four by restricting Australia to 131 for five, they moved into an 8-4 lead in the multi-format series and now need just one more point to claim the Ashes.

This was a thoroughly impressive performance from England, who took charge of proceedings early on and seldom released any pressure on Australia.

Early boundaries from Charlotte Edwards (17 in 10 balls) off Ellyse Perry set the tone as she and Heather Knight (13 in 10) started quickly before Taylor took over.

The England wicket-keeper struck six fours in her effort of 77 in 58 balls as she moved past Edwards' previous record and she only fell from the final ball of the innings when she was bowled by Erin Osborne.

She added 88 with Danielle Wyatt (28) for the third wicket and Natalie Sciver was unbeaten on six in as many balls.

Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole allowed Australia no such freedom when they got the ball in their hands and after Meg Lanning was brilliantly run out by an Arran Brindle direct hit for two, Brunt had Alyssa Healy caught behind for six.

Lanning had been dropped by Sciver but it proved not to be a costly miss. Such was England's clear advantage that they let a couple of other chances fall as the game went on, but by then, the outcome was not in doubt.

It was not until the fifth over that Australia, through Jess Cameron, found the boundary and she would go on to top score with 35 in 36 balls, but that was followed by Danielle Hazell bowling a maiden over.

At 49 for three after 10 overs, having also lost Jodie Fields for six, there was no way back for Australia.

Cameron was sharply caught and bowled by Jenny Gunn while Alex Blackwell (20) found the reliable hands of Lydia Greenway off Wyatt and although Perry cracked a quickfire 30 not out and Rachael Haynes was unbeaten on 25, the game had long since lost its edge as a contest - not that England minded one jot.

Their first opportunity to regain the Ashes are in two days time when the two sides meet in Southampton. A win will do it and should the match be rained off, that would also be enough.

However, if Australia were to win both of the remaining matches and the series is tied 8-8, they will retain the Ashes.

© Cricket World 2013

Final score: England 12-4 Australia

Fixtures & Results

11th-14th August: Only Test, Wormsley
AUS 331-6 d. & 231-5 d. drew with ENG 314 & 93-2
20th August: 1st ODI, Lord's
AUS 203-8 beat ENG 176 by 27 runs
23rd August: 2nd ODI, Hove
ENG 256-6 beat AUS 205 by 51 runs
25th August: 3rd ODI, Hove
ENG 204-5 beat AUS 203-4 by 5 wickets
27th August: 1st T20I, Chelmsford
ENG 146-4 beat AUS 131-5 by 15 runs
29th August: 2nd T20I, Southampton
ENG 128-5 beat AUS 127-7 by 5 wickets
31st August: 3rd T20I, Chester-le-Street
ENG 92-3 beat AUS 91-7 by 7 wickets