CRICKET: England versus Australia, 1st Ashes T20, Chelmsford, Essex (27th August, 2013)
Despite being a different format of the game, both teams were relatively unchanged from the ODIs, with England making one change as Danni Wyatt came in for Holly Colvin and Australia changed Megan Schutt for Rachael Haynes.
England won the toss and elected to bat first, hoping to get a good total on the board to defend. Skipper Charlotte Edwards and fellow opener Heather Knight went relatively cheaply as they managed to reach teens only.
But Sarah Taylor and Danni Wyatt came together and served to demolish the Australian bowling attack with sweet strikes and very quick running between the wicket, picking up twos with Wyatt sprinting quickly between the wicket. The fabulous partnership was ended with Wyatt being run out by Haynes but Taylor stayed until the end with new partner Nat Sciver, finally being bowled from the last delivery of the Innings by Erin Osborne for 77 runs from 58 balls.
Australia’s bowlers were out-played during the Innings and strike-bowler Ellyse Perry still hadn’t recovered from loss of form, going for 31 from her 4 overs and with Coyte, Osborne and Hunter being the only wicket takers with one apiece.
England collectively obtained a score of 146 from their 20 overs thanks largely to Taylor and her partnership with Wyatt, and it would take something special from Australia to keep ahead of the rate.
Australia began their Innings terribly and were quickly behind the run rate as Alyssa Healy failed once again, being caught behind off Brunt’s bowling and going for 6 off 9. A beautiful piece of fielding by Arran Brindle saw the back of the very dangerous and in-form Meg Lanning and the Southern Stars were struggling.
A few sparks of retaliation came from Jess Cameron and, when she had been dismissed caught and bowled by Jenny Gunn, Perry, Alex Blackwell and Haynes, but some very tight bowling from Dani Hazell and excellent fielding meant that Australia fell short of the total needed, managing only 131-5.
England now go double in the points system, leading Australia 8-4 with two games left to play. England only need to win one more game to win the Ashes, whereas if Australia can hold them off and beat them in the remaining two T20s, they will draw the series and regain the Ashes.
The next two T20s will be played directly before the England Men and Australia Men games at the Ageas Bowl and Durham ICG, both of which can be seen in England on Sky Sports Ashes (2) and probably in Australia on something.