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Australia’s women halted England’s stunning comeback to retain The Women’s Ashes in Southampton yesterday. In another thrilling ODI contest the visitors secured victory by just three runs. Nat Sciver-Brunt’s brilliant century wasn’t enough for England as she could only manage a single off the final ball with five required for victory. Australia now lead the multi format series 8-6 with one ODI remaining meaning the hosts can now only level the series.

Australia’s Domination In Previous England Matchups

England in truth can take great credit for the way they have kept the series alive after finding themselves 6-0 down after defeats in the Test Match (worth four points) and the first T20 match. The task was even more daunting considering they were facing opposition who hadn’t lost a match in the T20 format in three years, in fact, the England cricket team had gone ten matches against Australia in all formats without success.

All Level Going Into The Final Match

But three consecutive victories sensationally brought the series level going into yesterday’s crucial match on the South coast. England will look to pivotal final over with the ball in which Lauren Bell conceded 26 runs to Georgia Wareham to push Australia’s score to 282 for 7. Wareham’s cameo of 37 from 14 balls was to prove crucial later in the game. Earlier Ellyse Perry had held things together for the Australia cricket team with 91. Annabel Sutherland scored 50 in 47 balls to add impetus.

England’s reply started well with Tammy Beamont finding the boundary on a regular basis. She continued her good form with 60 from 62 balls. The home team lost wickets at regular intervals though, all to Australia’s spinners. Player of the match Alana King chipped in with the crucial wickets of Beaumont, skipper Heather Knight and Alice Capsey taking 3 for 44 from 10 overs. When Sophie Ecclestone fell to Ash Gardner England still needed 80 from less than 12 overs with just three wickets remaining but a partnership between Sciver-Brunt and Sarah Glenn kept them in the hunt. Glenn’s innings was important as it gave Sciver-Brunt the platform to accelerate but in hindsight eating up 35 balls for her 22 not out wasn’t quite enough to help England over the line.

Australia Scrape To Victory In Highly Contested Match

15 was needed from the final over to be delivered by expert death bowler Jess Jonassen, Sciver -Brunt found the boundary the third ball but couldn’t again as Australia scraped to victory.
The England number four finished on an outstanding 111 not out from just 99 deliveries in a losing cause. 

So Australia will leave English shores with Ashes secured again but England can take a lot of credit for helping to make the series an overall victory for the sport. This England vs Australia matchup has been highly competitive and the matches have been played in front of record crowds. They will head to Taunton for the final match with an opportunity to square the series and win the ODI series, adding to victory in the T20 series. Wins in two series against this all conquering Australian team would be no mean feat.