Follow the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars' progress this summer on Twitter @_SouthernStars
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars have finished the Women's Twenty20 International Series with a commanding 52-run win at Manuka Oval this afternoon, however it came all too late as England took the five-game series 4-1.
After four close losses, it was a good day for the hosts right from the outset after they won the toss and batted, posting their highest score of the series with 8-153 before a good bowling and fielding effort saw them knock over England for 101 in 16.2 overs.
Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars captain Alex Blackwell said it was nice to finish the series on a positive note before heading to Sydney tomorrow ahead of the Ashes Test starting on Saturday at Bankstown.
"It was nice to get the win today and we'll take some confidence out of that performance as we prepare for the Ashes Test and hopefully we can finish the series against England by taking back the Ashes," Blackwell said.
"I thought we showed a lot more intent with the bat today and our bowling and fielding was very good, however full credit to England, they take a strong 4-1 result in the Twenty20 series and played some very good cricket.
"I think the change today was that we had plenty of contributors with bat and ball and that always makes a massive difference.
"We were able to get off to a quick start with the bat and were able to carry that momentum right through our innings which was important to posting a good total, our highest of the Twenty20 series.
"Then with the ball I was pleased with the way we stuck to our plans and executed really well and backed that up with some good fielding and catching.
"We've now got a few days before the Ashes Test but I'm confident we can carry this momentum into the Test - there would be no better way to finish the series than with an Ashes win," the skipper said.
Batting first, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars were attacking from the outset with opener Leah Poulton hitting valuable early boundaries on her way to 24 from 12 balls, while Shelley Nitschke (23), Jess Cameron (26) and Lisa Sthalekar (24 not out) all made valuable contributions.
With the ball, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars bowlers were on song, snaring regular wickets as the world number one all-rounder Nitschke took three wickets, while Sarah Elliot and Erin Osborne also picked up two each with tidy economies to match.
A Full Scorecard from today's game can be found here: http://livescores.cricket.com.au/summary_2579_4.html
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars now head to Sydney tomorrow ahead of the Ashes Test being played at Bankstown getting started on Saturday. Further information about the Ashes Test will be distributed in coming days.
Commenting on the Ashes Test coming up, Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars captain Alex Blackwell said;
"England currently hold the Ashes and we have one chance to get them back so we will be playing some good attacking cricket to do everything we can to win them back," Blackwell said.
"We've got half the squad from New South Wales so we're all really looking forward to getting back home and putting on a good show. We've played some good one-day and Twenty20 cricket so far but there is no doubt an Ashes win would be the highlight of the summer for us.
"I'd encourage anyone in the Bankstown community to get down to Bankstown Oval from 22 to 25 January, play starts at 10:30am every day, entry is free and we're looking forward to getting one back on England this summer," she said.
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day