Heavy rain in the morning delayed the start of the match by 40 minutes, with the length of the game also reduced to 16 overs per side. England captain, Charlotte Edwards, won the toss and elected to bowl first on a slow MCG wicket.
The Australians made 3-99 from their 16 overs, with opener Shelley Nitschke top scoring with 27 from 30 deliveries. Leah Poulton made 21 from 23 balls before being brilliantly caught and bowled by Jenny Gunn. Alex Blackwell remained 21 not out from 16 deliveries while Lisa Sthalekar contributed 13 from 11.
England lost an early wicket in their chase when Laura Marsh was caught by Alex Blackwell off the bowling of Rene Farrell with the score on eight. Danielle Wyatt and Charlotte Edwards were scoring freely until Lisa Sthalekar removed them both to seize the momentum for the home team. Sthalekar's effort to catch Edwards from her own bowling was particularly impressive, only just grasping the ball with a full stretch dive.
The game was well and truly in the balance when Sthalekar claimed her third scalp, Suzie Rowe caught by Ellyse Perry in the outfield.
Needing a run-a-ball, England desperately needed to form a partnership and it was Lydia Greenway and Jenny Gunn who answered their country's call. Greenway continued to be a thorn in the side of the Australians with an impressive 30 runs from as many balls, while Gunn made 19 from 17 balls before losing her wicket with victory in sight. The loss of Gunn, however, failed to halt England's momentum with victory coming with two balls to spare.
Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars captain, Alex Blackwell, said her team was disappointed to be playing good cricket and still be 2-0 down in the series, but was confident her team would bounce back.
"We only have to make some small adjustments, and some small improvements individually, to turn things around. The spirits are still high and we understand that Twenty20 cricket can be like this. We just have to stay positive and play good cricket in Canberra. We are not that far away from a win," she said.
The Women's International Twenty20 Series now moves to Manuka Oval in Canberra. Game three will be played on Sunday (January 16) starting at 12:00pm. This game will also be broadcast live on ABC Television.
A full scorecard from today's match can be found at: http://livescores.cricket.com.au/scoreboard_2579_2.html
MEDIA OPPORTUNITY - JANUARY 15
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars will travel to Canberra tomorrow (January 15). The team is scheduled to arrive at Canberra Airport at approximately 2:20pm.
Ellyse Perry will be available to interested media in the baggage collection area on arrival.
For more information, please contact:
0418 860 940
Follow the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars' progress this summer on Twitter @_SouthernStars
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars squad is:
Alex Blackwell (c) NSW
Shelley Nitschke (vc) SA
Jessica Cameron VIC
Sarah Coyte NSW
Sarah Elliott VIC
Rene Farrell WA
Rachael Haynes VIC
Alyssa Healy NSW
Julie Hunter VIC
Meg Lanning VIC
Erin Osborne NSW
Ellyse Perry NSW
Leah Poulton NSW
Lisa Sthalekar NSW
Profiles can be found here: http://cricket.com.au/womens-players
England women's team squad:
Charlotte Edwards - captain
Women's International Series v England
5 January 2011 Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v England WACA Ground (10am)
7 January Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v England WACA Ground (2:30pm)
9 January Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v England WACA Ground (10am)
12 January Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v England Adelaide Oval** (2:05pm)
14 January Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v England MCG** (2:35pm)
16 January Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v England Manuka Oval+ (12:05pm)
17 January Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v England Manuka Oval+ (3:05pm)
18 January Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v England Manuka Oval+ (3:05pm)
**Double-header Twenty20(tm) with men's KFC Twenty20 International, broadcast live on Nine
+ Broadcast live on ABC
22 - 25 January Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v England Bankstown Oval (10:30am)
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day