England have taken an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five match Women's International Twenty20 series against the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars, winning today's match at Manuka Oval in Canberra by four wickets (January 16).
photo Chris Seargeant
Batting first, the Australians had a terrific start with Meg Lanning and Shelley Nitschke putting on 51 runs for the first wicket. Lanning was particularly aggressive, making 34 runs from 22 balls, before becoming the first wicket to fall. Nitschke fell soon after for 22.
Following the loss of the openers, the baton was handed to Alex Blackwell (29 from 30) and Leah Poulton (25 from 22) who put on 52 runs for the third wicket. That partnership and some late hitting from the middle order, included 15 from 10 balls to Jess Cameron, saw Australia finish their 20 overs at 6-145.
England went out hard in their chase with Charlotte Edwards and Laura Marsh putting on 71 runs in the first 10 overs. Nitschke made the initial breakthrough for Australia, removing Edwards for 36, before Sarah Coyte produced a terrific spell of 3-25 from four overs to have England 4-114 with four overs to play.
It came down to England needing five runs from the last over to secure the series win. The first ball from Rene Farrell's over went for two wides, but she hit back the next delivery by dismissing Lydia Greenway. The very next ball Heather Knight was run out for a duck.
The previous two Twenty20 matches between these sides were decided on the last few balls of the match, and this one would be no different, with England finally taking the winning run from the second last ball of the over.
The result meant England take a 3-0 win in the Twenty20 series with two matches to play.
Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars bowler, Sarah Coyte, said the Australians would use the next two matches to build momentum ahead of the Ashes Test starting next weekend (January 22).
"The confidence in the group is still good. There have been some key moments in the last few matches that we haven't been winning and we need to change that. But we now have two more games to turn things around ahead of the Ashes Test," she said.
The fourth Women's Twenty20 International between the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars and England will be tomorrow (January 17) with game five the following day (January 18). Both games are at Manuka Oval and will start at 3:05pm. Entry is free. Both fixtures will also be shown live on ABC Television with coverage starting at 3pm AEDST.
Following the Women's International Twenty20 Series, the team will head to Sydney for a one-off Ashes Test at Bankstown Oval (January 22-25).