Chasing 264 against Australia was never going to be an easy one even though, Australia felt like they were 20 runs short against England. Because there have been only 4 instances where the sides have successfully chased more than 250 runs against Australia and England’s highest successful chase was 240/6 in 2015. Australia also has three quality spinners in the form of Ashleigh Gardner, Jess Jonassen and Georgia Wareham.
But England scored 102 runs in the first 12 overs based on the wayward bowling of the Australian seamers and the fearless batting of the England top order. Perry was hit for four boundaries in an over by Alice Capsey while Darcie Brown despite her pace bowled all over the pitch. Though Gardner (3/42), Wareham (2/34) and Jonassen (1/37) tried to pull things back for Australia, Beaumoint’s 47, Capsey’s 40 from 34 balls and Heather Knight’s unbeaten 75 from 86 balls not only won the first ODI by 2 wickets and levelled the Ashes (6-6) by winning three back to back matches but also earned England’s first ODI victory against Australia after 6 years.
England had beaten Australia last time prior to this match in ODI in 2017 by 20 runs at Coffs Harbour. In that rain-affected match at Coffs Harbour, England batting first, piled up a mammoth total of 284, based on half-centuries from Tammy Beaumont (74) and Sarah Taylor (69) while Heather Knight applied the finished touches with hr unbeaten 88 from 80 balls.
Interestingly it was skipper Heather Knight’s last half-century against Australia in the ODI before she hit another one in the first ODI of the 2023 Ashes. In between she scored only 115 runs in 8 innings. Australi chasing a revised target of 278 in 48 overs, fell short of 20 runs despite half-centuries from Healy (71) and Bolton(62) and an opening stand of 118 in 22 overs due to the failure of the middle-order batters.
Difference Between Australia and England Between England’s Two ODI Victories 2017–23 (Australia won all 8 matches)
|Team||Match||Run||HS||Avg||Wickets Taken||Best||Avg||100||5 W Haul||Av Diff.|
Between these two victories, England lost all eight matches. Rather than the defeat, Australia demolished the English pride in those matches. While Australia clean-swept England in both the 2019 and 2022 Ashes in the ODI series, the other two came in the 2022 ODI World Cup in New Zealand. In the 2019 Ashes, Engaldn fought head-to-head in the first match of the ODI series. In Leicester, though they got bundled out to a paltry score of 177, that to based on Natalie Sciver’s 64, they took Australian wickets in regular intervals.
Australia despite Healy’s 66 was on the bay before Kimmince and Wareham earned them a 2-wicket victory. 2019 Ashes was Perry’s Ashes. After scoring 116 in the first innings of the Test Match she picked up three crucial wickets (3/43) of Beaumont, Amy Jones and skipper Heather Knight in her first spell. Amy Jones and Heather were sent back for a duck to reduce England to 19/4, from where they ever recovered properly.
In the second match of the series, Perry scored another half-century in ODI and with her 62, Australia comfortably chased down a total of 218. Earlier in that match, Kimmince’s 5/16 restricted England to 217, despite Tammy Beaumont’s brilliant 114 from 115 balls with 12 boundaries. But the best of Perry was yet to come. In the last match of the ODI series, Perry wrote her own tale at Canterbury. Australia batted first to put up a total of 269 based on Lanning’s 69 and Healy’s 68.
Perry jolted the England innings by picking Amy Jones once again for a duck in the very first over. In her next over, Beaumont found herself stuck against an inswinger, while Taylor’s edge found Healy’s gloves behind the wicket fell in the very next ball. In the 3rd over England was reduced to 5/3. But it was not the end of their misery. Perry continued to bowl from one end and picked up Knight and Wyatt in the very same over to complete her five-wicket haul.
5-1-12-5 said her tally as England slumped to 21/6 in the 9th over. After her first spell of 7 overs where she conceded 18 runs for 5 wickets, she came back for her 2nd completed 7/22 in her allotted overs. 194 runs handed England their biggest defeat as they were all out for mere 75 runs. In the 2022 Ashes which was seen as preparation for the forthcoming ODI World Cup in New Zealand. But once again England was handed a thumping defeat by 0-3 by the host.
Rather than the Australian batting brilliance, this time they showed how good and versatile their bowling arsenal is. Chasing a mere total of 205, England was blown away by the fearsome fast bowling by 19 years old Darcie Brown and Megan Schutt, who has seen many summers in Australian colours. Darcie’s 4/39 and a couple of wickets by Schutt, McGrath, and Jess Jonassen sealed a 27 runs victory. In the 2nd ODI at Melbourne, Ellyse displayed an all-round show to take an invincible lead of 2-0.
Electing to field first, Perry’s 3/12 and McGrath’s 3/4 bundled England for 129, which Australia chased down with five wickets in hand. Australia was guided by Perry’s 40. If in the first two ODI, Darcie Brown and Perry led the Australian seam bowling attack, Annabel Sutherland in the third match broke the backbone of the English batting. Her 4 for 31 restricted England to 163 which was breached by Meg Lanning’s unbeaten 57 and an unbeaten 90-run stand with Ellyse Perry.
In the 2022 ODI World Cup, in both matches, Nat- Sciver Brunt was the silver lining for England against Australia. In the group match, her 103 has overshadowed by Hyanes’s brilliant 130 as England fell short of 28 runs. Chasing Australia’s 310, Nat didn’t get support from the other end and this was their 2nd of the four defeats in a row, from where they would make a comeback and qualified for the final. The final was lit up by Healy’s 170, the highest total in a World Cup Knock Out game irrespective of gender.
Australia’s mammoth total of 356 runs looked too much for the English side, but Nat Sciver-Brunt had other ideas. She started to counter-attack from one end, but very much like the group match, ran out o partners as Australia picked wickets in regular intervals. Her unbeaten 148 was not enough to defend the glory that England gained 5 years back, as Australia conquered the final by 71 runs. Natalie Sciver, unlike Anya Shrubsole, who turned the match on its head in the 2017 final with her 6 wickets haul against India, ended her World Cup as a tragic Hero.
In all these 8 matches while Australia protected their supremacies in almost all departments, the most highlighted area would remain that their bowlers failed to dent the Australian batting. While Australian bowlers picked up wickets at an average of 19, which rose to 42 when England came to bowl. Their batting too was dependent upon the like of Beaumont and Nat Sciver who share three centuries between them. It was very much unlike Australia where someone or the other always stood up.
In the World Cup, the two matches that England lost, two different batters scored centuries while in the 2022 Ashes, three different bowlers broke the English bowling in three ODIs. While Australia picked up 78 wickets in 8 matches, England picked up only 42 which means less than 6 wickets per match. In batting, over-dependence on a couple of the batters hurt them as well. But in the first ODI of 2023, contribution from Kate Cross who bats as low as number 10 contributed with handy runs along with skipper Heather Knight which helped England to break the losing streak.