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Sciver-Brunt Century helps England End Women’s Ashes All Square

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Published By: Feroz Khan

Last Updated: July 19, 2023, 12:00 IST

Taunton (UK)

Nat Sciver-Brunt scored 129 off 149. (AP Photo)

Nat Sciver-Brunt had the satisfaction of seeing her fourth ODI century in five innings against Australia at last lead to a win for England.

Nat Sciver-Brunt at last scored a hundred against Australia in a winning cause as England triumphed by 69 runs in the third one-day international at Taunton on Tuesday to end the multi-format Women’s Ashes all square at 8-8.

Victory, under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method for rain-affected matches, meant England inflicted double white-ball world champions Australia’s first bilateral ODI series loss since 2013.

Sciver-Brunt’s 129, her second hundred in three days against Australia following an unbeaten 111 in an agonising three-run defeat in the second ODI at Southampton, was the cornerstone of England’s 285-9.

A revised target of 269 from 44 overs proved too much for Australia, world champions in both ODI and Twenty20 cricket, as they were dismissed for 199, with seamer Kate Cross taking 3-48.

But holders Australia, who won the lone Test of this series, were already assured of retaining the Ashes at 8-6 ahead coming into this match.

“We definitely think we’re closing the gap to Australia,” Cross told Sky Sport.

“The fact that we’re 8-8 at the end of it and it doesn’t really feel fair that it’s going back to Australia.”

Sciver-Brunt, however, had the satisfaction of seeing her fourth ODI century in five innings against Australia at last lead to a win for England.

“I tried to take it ball by ball today. I came in in some pretty tough conditions after they’d got two quick wickets,” said the all-rounder.

Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner admitted: “England have outplayed us, and played a fearless brand of cricket, and it is something we should look at.”

England, having lost the toss, were soon in trouble as openers Sophia Dunkley and Tammy Beaumont fell with just 12 runs on the board.

England captain Heather Knight and Sciver-Brunt, dropped on 54, repaired the damage with a third-wicket stand of 147 before the skipper was bowled for 67 by leg-spinner Alana King.

Huge roars, however, greeted Sciver-Brunt as she completed a 126-ball hundred, including 11 fours and a six, before she eventually holed out off Jess Jonassen.

Australia also lost early wickets, with captain Alyssa Healy bowled by Cross.

A rain break of nearly an hour left Australia needing to score at seven an over and Ellyse Perry led the way with 53 before she gave a steepling catch to Alice Capsey off Cross.

Gardner kept Australia in the hunt before she was run out Wicketkeeper Amy Jones’s excellent stumping of Georgia Wareham all but sealed England’s victory.

England were 6-0 down after losing a Test worth four points to the winners and the first Twenty20.

Yet they recovered to 6-6, winning four of the seven matches and both white-ball series.

But that wasn’t quite enough to snatch the Ashes back from Australia’s grasp for the first time since 2014.

Knight, asked how the points system might be adjusted in future to prevent a seven-match series ending all square, said: “Maybe there could be an odd number of points for something so there couldn’t be a draw. I’m not too sure.”

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)

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