By three runs, England 186 for 9 (Wyatt 76, Sutherland 3-18) defeated Australia 183 for 8 (Perry 51*, Glenn 2-27, Ecclestone 2-35).
Danni Wyatt‘s spectacular half-century enthralled a Kia Oval crowd of 20,328 – and the Ashes series – before England’s bowlers combined to defend a high score and defeat the strong Australians by three runs in their second T20I.
With a 57-run opening combination, Danni Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley got the hosts off to a quick start. A flurry of wickets had them at 119 for 6, but Sophie Ecclestone’s cameo of 22 off 12 balls, including 31-yard stands with both Danni Wyatt and Sarah Glenn, helped England to 186 for 9, their best T20I score against Australia. It was also the second-highest total ever conceded by the Australians in the format, trailing only the 187 for 5 against India in December, which India won in a Super Over, Australia’s only other T20I defeat in their previous 25 completed matches.
England weathered some early pressure when Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney set Australia off to a better start. Still, spinners Ecclestone and Glenn each claimed two wickets and the visitors could not cross the line despite Ellyse Perry’s valiant unbeaten half-century. The hosts came into the match needing to win all five remaining matches to reclaim the Ashes, and after winning five in a row to reach the final of the 50-over World Cup last year after dropping their first three games, this victory may have them daring to dream, trailing 6-2 but with eight more points up for grabs.
Danni Wyatt has been charged.
Australia gave Dunkley a life on 13 when she shot Megan Schutt high to cover, and the ball fell between her hands as Tahlia McGrath sat under it, the most dramatic of a string of misfields early in England’s innings. Danni Wyatt helped herself to back-to-back boundaries off Ashleigh Gardener, over mid-off and through third, and England were 54 for 2 at the end of the powerplay, a vast improvement on their 36 for 2 in the first T20I at Edgbaston, which Australia won by four wickets with one ball to spare. McGrath juggled another chance off Dunkley; her relief was evident as Dunkley went for 23.
Nat Sciver-Brunt was on 23 when Gardner had her caught at long-on, but Wyatt kept going, bringing up her half-century off 36 balls when she swung Perry’s short ball clear of midwicket for a one-bounce four. When Schutt gave up 25 runs in the 16th over, Danni Wyatt was the main destroyer, slapping the first ball to the rope through point as Schutt overstepped, followed by three more boundaries in a row and five wides off what should have been the last ball of the over to Ecclestone, compounding the Australians’ misery. Wyatt eventually holed out to deep third off Annabel Sutherland for a.
Sutherland scores a goal.
Sutherland flipped the momentum in Australia’s favor by taking two wickets in two balls as England fell from 100 for 1 to 109 for 4. When Alice Capsey attempted to hook Sutherland, she sent a top edge high towards a short fine leg, which wicketkeeper Healy comfortably took. Then Heather Knight was bowled first ball, a masterpiece of a cross-seam delivery that angled in from outside the crease, straightened, and pegged back off stump in her 100th T20I.
Amy Jones escaped the hat-trick ball, digging out the yorker on the leg stump, but Sutherland then took a superb diving catch at going round from wide long-on, and England had lost four wickets for 12 runs in 13 balls. The audience erupted when Ecclestone peeled off 4, 6, 4 off McGrath as England rallied to 181 for 8, and it took a spectacular catch by Darcie Brown at short third off Gardner to remove Glenn.
Australia can be defeated.
Australia appeared to be doing what they’ve done so many times when openers Healy and Mooney led them to 58 without loss in the powerplay, with Healy excellent on 37 off 18, including two big sixes off Sciver-Brunt in the fifth over, over wide long-on and in front of square leg. But she could not add to her tally when legspinner Glenn entered the attack in the seventh through and struck the second ball, slowing the pace as Healy attempted to run over the short fine leg and exposing her stumps as the ball crashed into the middle.
Charlie Dean retrieved a ball that dropped just short of extra cover and sent it into wicketkeeper Jones, who threw down the stumps, and McGrath was run out. Danielle Gibson debuted at Edgbaston and took her first international wicket when Mooney picked out Wyatt at deep midwicket.
Ecclestone dismissed Gardner with the most straightforward return catch imaginable to capture her 100th T20I wicket, becoming the fastest to the milestone in only 72 appearances as Australia collapsed to 75 for 4. After 12 overs, Australia needed to score at 11.5 an over, and Dean, the offspinner who replaced seamer Freya Davies as the only change for either side after the first match, bowled Grace Harris to keep England ahead.
Georgia Wareham threatened with a four followed by two sixes from Dean in the 18th over, but with 31 needed off the final two overs, Lauren Bell bowled Wareham with eight balls remaining. Australia needed 20 off the last round, and while Perry fought till the end, her 51 not out off 27 balls was insufficient.
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