Set 234 to win after England batted first and set a highly competitive total, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars were never able to about to mount a sustained challenge and were bowled out for 177 in the final over.
Australia’s run chase faltered early and quickly fell behind the required run rate. Ellyse Perry top scored with 40 and Karen Rolton added 30, but the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars could not produce the steadying partnerships needed after losing quick wickets in the middle order.
The comprehensive victory was just the second by England’s women in a one-day international in Australia and their highest score on Australian soil.
After being sent into bat, England started strongly with Sarah Taylor (44), Claire Taylor (30) and Beth Morgan (20) contributing in the top order.
The decisive partnership in the match was an 80-run stand between England all-rounder Jenny Gunn and Lydia Greenway for the fifth wicket after Australia had started to gain the upper hand through spinners Shelley Nitschke (2-38) and Lisa Sthalekar (1-35).
When Gunn departed for 48 from 64 balls after an unlucky run out, Greenway (48 not out) guided her team to a further 37 runs off the final four overs.
Like their batting effort, England’s bowling honours were evenly spread. Laura Marsh claimed three wickets, while Gunn and Rosalie Birch took two apiece.
The second match of the series will be played at the MCG tomorrow. Play starts at 10.00am and entry is free. The full scoreboard from today’s match is available on Cricket Australia’s website, www.cricket.com.au. Cricket.com.au is providing live scores of all matches throughout the series.
Monday 3 February Australia v England 10am MCG
Thursday 7 February Australia v England 10am SCG
Sunday 10 February Australia v England 10am Drummoyne Oval, Drummoyne (Sydney)
Monday 11 February Australia v England 10am SCG
Friday 15 – Monday 18 February Australia v England Bradman Oval, Bowral