Mooney, Schutt help Australia Women retain Ashes

Beth Mooney registered her maiden T20I fifty
Beth Mooney registered her maiden T20I fifty

Australia Women 134-4 (Mooney 86no) beat
England Women 132-9 (Wyatt 50) by six wickets
First Twenty20 International, Women's Ashes, Sydney

After a four wicket haul from Megan Schutt restricted England Women to 132 for nine, a blistering unbeaten 86 run knock from Beth Mooney ensured Australia Women chased down the target in 15.5 overs with six wickets in hand in the first Twenty20 International in Sydney.

The result also means Australia have retained the Women's Ashes as they secured another two points in the multi-format Ashes series to take their tally to eight.

Australia won the toss and decided to field first. In an eventful start to the game, Heather Knight (0) was caught behind off the second delivery from Jess Jonassen (1-14). With the on-field umpire referring the decision to the third umpire for a clean catch, the England skipper was initially given not out in the giant screen before the decision was reversed immediately.

Schutt (4-22) trapped the in-form Sarah Taylor (2) LBW in the second over but the real damage came when Ellyse Perry (2-26) struck twice in two deliveries to remove both Tammy Beaumont (4) and Katherine Brunt (0), though she was denied a hat-trick.

Danielle Wyatt (50) decided to counterattack with a couple of boundaries in the sixth over and was even handed a reprieve by wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy. At the halfway mark, England were positioned 54 for four with Wyatt and Natalie Sciver (26) at the crease.

Just when the duo looked in good nick, dealing in boundaries, Delissa Kimmince (1-15) provided Australia with the breakthrough when she trapped Sciver LBW, ending the 64 run stand for the fifth wicket.

With back to back boundaries in the 16th over, Wyatt completed her fifty but fell immediately after that, misjudging a run to a long on, leading to a run-out. Fran Wilson (23 not out) with her 22 ball knock ensured England went on to post 132 for nine in the 20 overs despite Schutt cleaning up the lower order.

Mooney (86 not out) started the chase with a lot of confidence, hitting three boundaries and a six in the first three overs but Australia lost Healy (5) after an uncharacteristic 11 ball innings.

That did not stop Mooney from continuing her onslaught as she went on to register her maiden T20I fifty, needing 34 deliveries for it.

Even though England showed some fight with the wickets of Elyse Villani (17), Ashleigh Gardner (10) and Perry (1), Mooney with her unbeaten 56 ball knock that had 11 boundaries and two sixes in it ensured Australia completed the chase comfortably in 15.5 overs with six wickets in hand.

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