Australia retained the Women’s Ashes after Nat Sciver-Brunt’s excellent innings of 111 not out could not prevent England suffering an agonising three-run defeat in the second ODI at the Ageas Bowl.

Victory in Bristol on Wednesday had levelled the multi-format series at 6-6, but Heather Knight’s side knew only a fourth consecutive win over the world champions would keep alive their hopes of winning back the urn.

Put into bat first in Hampshire, Australia posted 282 for seven with Ellyse Perry hitting 91 and Annabel Sutherland adding 50, but it was Georgia Wareham who changed the momentum with 24 runs off the final over.

Tammy Beaumont ensured England’s chase started strongly with 60 but wickets fell regularly with the recalled Alana King claiming three for 44 from her 10 overs.

Sciver-Brunt’s presence kept alive England’s faint hopes and she reached another century against Australia, but could not get the required 15 runs from Jess Jonassen’s final over.

It puts Australia 8-6 up in the series with only one ODI left to play in Taunton, which means the urn will remain with Alyssa Healy’s side.

England captain Knight had won the toss and saw her decision to bowl first immediately pay dividends with Lauren Bell able to claim the early wickets of Phoebe Litchfield and Healy in windy conditions in Hampshire.

Litchfield was pinned in front lbw and Healy inexplicably cut straight to Alice Capsey, but Perry and Beth Mooney rebuilt the innings and put on 61 for the third wicket.

Spin duo Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn kept Australia in check with Mooney sweeping the former to Bell at short fine leg for 33 and Tahlia McGrath out cheaply after edging behind.

The outlook could have been even better for England with Perry dropped on 50 when Glenn put down a tough caught-and-bowled chance, which occurred the ball after the Aussie number three had survived a close lbw appeal.

Perry was given another life on 63 when she chipped Ecclestone to Kate Cross at mid-on, but the England seamer put down the opportunity and injured her right leg as a result.

Ashleigh Gardner was already out for 33 to Bell by this point, but Australia were able to kick on from 158 for five with Sutherland improving their tempo.

An important 81-run partnership for the sixth wicket was broken in the 47th over by Ecclestone, who claimed Perry for 91 and Sutherland for 50 with substitute fielder Charlie Dean and Capsey taking smart catches on the boundary rope.

Wareham crucially swung the momentum back in Australia’s favour though with a scintillating onslaught on Bell, smashing two sixes over midwicket after an earlier maximum in the last over of the innings to help her side post 282 for seven from their 50 overs.

It left England facing another record ODI chase, after achieving the same feat in Bristol on Wednesday, but Beaumont ensured they made a strong start with 66 put on with Sophia Dunkley, who was then bowled after a scratchy 13.

Beaumont had already celebrated fifty before four runs initially awarded to her were later changed to leg byes but the milestone was officially reached in the 14th over.

England’s progress was quickly ground to a halt by leg-spinner King after she won her battle against Knight, who was unhappy to walk off given out lbw for 12 after reviewing immediately.

King was in full flow now and Beaumont was bowled for a fine 60 with a wonderful spinning delivery that clipped off stump before Capsey holed out to deep midwicket where Gardner took the catch.

When Danni Wyatt succumbed to Gardner’s off-break with a slog sweep straight to Sutherland, England had gone from 107 for two to 144 for five.

The presence of Sciver-Brunt, who successfully reviewed an out lbw call on three, retained some hope and she moved to another half-century off 53 balls with a sweep for two.

Sciver-Brunt desperately needed a partner to stick around and wicketkeeper Jones started to take the attack to Australia, hitting back-to-back fours against Wareham, but soon after being dropped on 34, she was out.

After putting on 57 for the sixth wicket to take England past the 200-mark, Jones top-edged her attempted reverse sweep and Ecclestone lasted just two balls – with Gardner picking up two wickets from the 39th over.

England still needed 80 runs for victory but Sciver-Brunt continued to get success with the sweep shot.

Glenn stuck around to bring the equation down to 15 off six balls, but Sciver-Brunt, who reached her century in the previous over, was only able to hit one boundary.

England fell short on 279 for seven after her attempted slog-sweep for six from Jonassen’s last delivery only went for one.

England Women completed a 151-run victory in the third CG United ODI against the West Indies women, to claim a 3-0 series clean sweep at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Head Coach Courtney Walsh told CWI Media,”It was a poor series by us, we didn’t play the type of cricket we wanted to play, England outplayed us. I know we can play better cricket than that, so I am disappointed. We bowled and fielded better in the last two matches; we have to focus everything now on the T20 series.”

Walsh added, “We have to make sure we get something out of this series as we have a tri-series and World Cup early next year. What is pleasing to me is the bowling we were able to rally in the last two games. I am pleased with Hayley’s captaincy and her rotation of bowlers. The highlight was Rashada Williams have two good peformances with the bat. And the debut of Kaysia Schultz, she’s been around the team for a long time so we wanted to see how she performed so it was very pleasing to see her get the two early wickets, she will only get better from this exposure and experience.”

Scores: England Women 256 all out from 43.3 overs (Nat Sciver 85, Amy Jones 32, Shakera Selman 3-29, Hayley Matthews 3-56) West Indies Women 105-9 (Hayley Matthews 28, Sophie Ecclestone 3-9, Nat Sciver 2-16).

Sciver finished with 180 runs from three innings and was named player of the series.

The five-game T20I series bowls off on Sunday at the same venue.

Nat Sciver's unbeaten century went in vain as Australia managed to defend a total of 311 against arch-rivals England in their opening match at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022.

After a thriller in the opening day of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, fans were treated to yet another close encounter. Defending 311, Australia managed to hold their nerve with England needing 16 off the last over. Jess Jonassen gave away just three runs as the Aussies put their first points on board in the World Cup standings.

While several Aussie bowlers chipped in with wickets, it was Alana King who turned the game in the middle overs with three wickets, including the important scalp of Tammy Beaumont.            LoadureFullscreen

Chasing a daunting target of 311, Australia, through Megan Schutt, dented England early in the innings with the wicket of Lauren Winfield-Hill for a duck. Annabel Sutherland took a brilliant diving catch, plucking the ball inches off the ground to give the Aussies the early breakthrough.

England captain Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont took a couple of overs to get their eye in but made up for it in the Powerplay, finishing on 53/1 at the end of 10 overs.

Beaumont raced to a fifty off 54 deliveries but Knight fell 10 runs short of the milestone – Tahlia McGrath forced a soft dismissal as the skipper was caught at covers, thus ending a brilliant 92-run partnership between the pair.

Nat Sciver and Beaumont had to rebuild the innings again after the dismissal, but the wicket of the England opener pegged them back. With a brilliant leg break that would have made the late Shane Warne proud, Alana King beat Beaumont in the air and off the surface and Alyssa Healy did the rest behind the stumps.

One brought two for King as Amy Jones departed soon without troubling the scorers much. At the other end, Sciver brought up her half-century but kept losing partners, Danni Wyatt this time departing for 7.

Sciver and Sophia Dunkley led England's recovery with a 55-run stand for the sixth wicket. It looked like the partnership could take England home but King once again broke through, bowling Dunkley around the legs.

With Katherine Brunt keeping her company, Sciver put the foot on the accelerator as the required rate climbed to almost 10 and brought up her 100.

With the equation down to 26 off the last two, McGrath and Jess Jonassen held their nerve. The former gave away just 10 from the penultimate over and Jonassen picked two wickets in the final over, including a stunning return grab to dismiss Brunt, as England fell 12 runs short.

Earlier in the day, a 196-run stand for the second wicket between Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning formed the crux of the innings. Haynes went on to make a brilliant 130 – her second ODI century – while Lanning was dismissed for 86 by Katherine Brunt.


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