Five-Wicket Win Gives England Ashes Lead

Heather Knight hits out during her half-century at Hove
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 204-5 (Knight 69) beat
Australia 203-4 by five wickets
Third Women's Ashes ODI, Hove

England beat Australia by five wickets in the third Women's Ashes One-Day International in Hove to take a 6-4 lead in the series.

A record-breaking second-wicket partnership of 126 between Heather Knight (69) and Sarah Taylor (64) helped England reach 204 for five with 16 balls remaining in a match that had been reduced to 36 overs per side by bad weather.

Australia, thanks to 64 from Meg Lanning, had posted a competitive 203 for four but were eventually beaten, and find themselves behind in the series for the first time.

Although Lanning made runs at the top of the order, new opening partner Alyssa Healy fell without scoring to Anya Shrubsole and it needed runs from Jess Cameron (28), Jodie Fields (29), Ellyse Perry (45 not out) and Alex Blackwell (35 not out) to get the innings back on track.

Fields was superbly caught by Taylor as she tried to reverse sweep Danielle Hazell, who finished with figures of two for 36.

Charlotte Edwards then fell for eight when England came out to bat but unlike at Lord's, her team-mates responded well.

Knight faced 65 balls, hitting five fours while Taylor faced 59 balls with six fours in their partnership which took England close to the win, their runs together breaking the previous record for an England second-wicket partnership against Australia in an ODI.

However, the match was back in the balance when both were dismissed in quick succession and when Lydia Greenway (18) and Arran Brindle (11) also fell cheaply, Australia had England under pressure.

Enter Natalie Sciver, playing just her fourth ODI, who played a composed knock of 18 not out in as many balls to guide England home alongside Jenny Gunn, on three.

Erin Osborne's haul of three for 49 was a fine effort but unfortunately for her side, not a winning one.

The three remaining matches in the series are the Twenty20 Internationals, the first of which is at Chelmsford on 27th August.

Two more wins for England will guarantee a series win while Australia can suffer no further defeats if they are to retain the Ashes.

© Cricket World 2013