England v Australia Women’s 1st ODI
After losing the toss and being put into bat by Australian captain Karen Rolton England started strongly with openers Sarah Taylor and Beth Morgan putting on 39 for the first wicket. Morgan was the first to fall in the 12th over to a catch at mid-off by Kriss Britt off the bowling of Kirsten Pike for 20.
Claire Taylor was next to the crease and settled in quickly. Playing determinedly Taylor struck hard and swept and slogged throughout her innings, which lasted 37 balls. She was caught behind by Leonie Coleman off the bowling of Shelley Nitshcke for 30 with England 90-2.
England captain Charlotte Edwards was the next to join the eighteen year-old Sarah Taylor in the middle. They put on 11 in two overs before the youngster was caught by 17-year-old Ellyse Perry off Nitschke’s bowling for 44.
Left-hander Lydia Greenway who has been playing in Australia since September for Wallsend came in at five for England. Between her and Edwards they added 15 for the tourists before Edwards (11) was bowled by Lisa Sthalekar in the 23rd over as she attempted to sweep the ball.
With England 116-4 Jenny Gunn joined Greenway at the crease. Together they played beautifully with 6’1” Gunn using her height and stance to dominate the ball. She scored four fours in her innings and with quick running between the stumps they put on 80 for the fifth wicket seeing England through to 196.
A direct hit from Perry after she had clipped the ball to fine leg put an end to Gunn’s innings (48) bringing Nicky Shaw to the middle. She made a quick fire 13 off 12 balls but was caught deep mid-wicket on the first ball of the final over. Caroline Atkins (3*) and Greenway (48*) saw England through to the interval with 233-6 on the board.
After the break, which was very nearly extended due to a hydraulic problem with the roller, England continued their command over Australia. Nitschke was the first to go to a catch by Nicky Shaw at mid-off.off the bowling of Jenny Gunn for 24, bringing Rolton to the crease.
Three balls later Alex Blackwell was trapped lbw by Gunn for 11 leaving Australia 38-2. All-rounder Sthalekar joined Rolton at the crease and together they added 25 runs for the third wicket before Sthalekar was stumped by Sarah Taylor off fellow Sussex player Holly Colvin’s bowling for 20.
Kris Britt came in fifth and was caught by Edwards at square leg off Rosalie Birch’s bowling for one in the 26th over. Blackwell’s twin sister Kate came to the middle with Australia on 72-4. Birch caught her lbw five minutes later for 6.
Perry, who had won the Player of the Match Award at the Twenty20 on Friday, was Australia’s seventh batter. Together her and Rolton steadied Australia and put on 30 for the sixth wicket before Rolton was caught behind the stumps by Sarah Taylor off Laura Marsh’s bowling for 30, leaving Australia 110-6.
Australia’s wicket-keeper, Coleman joined Perry at the crease and scored a run-a-ball 18 in 23 minutes. She was caught by Greenway at deep mid-wicket off Marsh’s bowling and Australia were behind the rate on 144-7. Sarah Andrews, coming in at nine scored a quick fire ten off ten balls and in a wicket that mirrored the previous one of Coleman, four overs earlier Andrews was caught deep mid-wicket by Greenway off the bowling of Marsh, leaving Australia 165-8.
Pike joined Perry, but three balls later, on the last ball of the 47th over Perry (40) fell to a run-out by Edwards to Marsh’s bowling. Pace bowler Sampson came in and made three before she was caught and bowled by Edwards in the final over. Australia were all out for 177, giving England a 56-run victory.
Following the game an ecstatic Edwards said: “The way the girls have responded from the Twenty20 defeat is brilliant. It was an all-round team performance and I’m really proud of every single one of them. To beat a very good Australian team on home soil at the MCG is a fantastic effort.
“We’re all aware that this is only one game out of five. We need to come back out and show the same fight tomorrow as we did today.”
Greenway added: “To beat Australia in Australia is always a good thing. We’ve had some things to work on and everyone has done that – we’ve all worked really hard and it’s paid off today.
“We want to make sure we keep working hard and come out strong again tomorrow. I was pleased with how I batted today. The wicket wasn’t as good as we thought it’d be so we had to work hard for our runs. The partnership with Jen helped set the last ten overs up and was key to us posting 233 as a total.”
Michael Bradley Photography