England Retain Women's Ashes
England 151-1 (Edwards 92no, Taylor 50no) beat
Australia 150-3 (Lanning 78no) by nine wickets
Women's Ashes 1st Twenty20 International, Hobart
England retained the Women's Ashes after beating Australia by nine wickets in the first Twenty20 International in Hobart.
Charlotte Edwards led the way with an unbeaten 92 in 59 balls as England needed just 17.5 overs to chase down a target of 151.
Meg Lanning struck 78 not out for Australia but free-scoring England made the home team's score of 150 for three look woefully inadequate.
England's victory puts them into an unassailable 10-4 lead in the multi-format series with two matches (and four points) remaining.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat, electing to set England a target but they were set back early on when Elyse Villani was trapped in front by Danielle Hazell and Alex Blackwell was run out by Edwards for 21.
Lanning, who faced just 54 ballsl in all, then struck nine fours and a six to keep the innings moving at a good rate, adding 35 in quick time with Jess Cameron (16) and then 67 with Ellyse Perry, who cracked 29 not out in 23 deliveries.
HIGHEST T20I INNINGS FOR ENGLAND
92* - Charlotte Edwards v AUS, Hobart, 2014
80* - Lydia Greenway v AUS, C'ford, 2013
77 - Sarah Taylor v AUS, Chelmsford, 2013
76* - Edwards v RSA, N'hampton, 2008
76* - Claire Taylor v AUS, The Oval, 2009
75* - Claire Taylor v SRI, Taunton, 2009
73 - Sarah Taylor v NZL, Southampton, 2010
72* - Edwards v IRE, L'borough, 2012
Hazell finished with one for 25 and Danielle Wyatt one for 29.
Wyatt opened the batting with Edwards but had scored just six before she was caught by Blackwell off the bowling of Jess Jonassen.
England had already raced to 37 by then in less than five overs and with Edwards in prime touch then joined by Sarah Taylor, the tourists proceeded to charge to their victory target.
Edwards struck 13 fours and a six while Taylor was unbeaten on 50 in 37 balls, with four fours, as England secured a dominant win with more than two overs to spare.
The second Twenty20 game is in Melbourne on Friday 31st January.
Following the match, Edwards spoke of her delight at leading her side to victory in the Ashes for the second series in a row.
"It's difficult to put into words exactly what I am feeling at the moment - I am absolutely ecstatic! I am so proud of all the girls - every player in this squad has played their part out there," she said.
"There are still two matches to play in this Women’s Ashes Series, and we want to win both of them. Australia can never be underestimated – as demonstrated by how they played in the second two ODIs against us – they are a very strong side and play with a lot of pride, so I expect them to come at us hard again in the remaining T20s.
“Winning the Ashes on home soil last summer was a huge achievement for everyone involved; winning them in Australia less than six months later is even bigger and feels even better."
Paul Shaw, England coach
"Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last six months – the team has been overwhelmed by the level of encouragement that we have received.
"Having personally played international cricket for England for over sixteen years now, the volume of media coverage has been unprecedented, and I hope that our back-to-back Ashes victories will inspire more women and girls to play the game."
© Cricket World 2014