England are only 1 win away from retaining the #WomensAshes. Link to my cheat sheet on today’s match

The Test match was completed last week in Perth with England coming away with the crucial 6 points.

Now the Women’s Ashes Series moves to the more recognisable format of One-Day and T20 cricket.

After both teams had to deal with the extreme heat of Melbourne, the conditions today at the MCG were certainly more favourable, but I am sure the last few days would have taken it out of all the players. Who was going to come out of the blocks quickly?

Selection:
With the change in format we saw both teams tinker with their line up for the first ODI.

Injuries have played a role with this, no other than the most notable change with the current Australian Captain, Jodie Fields sustaining a broken thumb at yesterday’s training therefore allowing Meg Lanning to become the 16th Captain of Australia.
As Meg stepped up, Alyssa Healy was also called into the team having not been selected initially in the ODI squad to take over the gloves and is no mug with the bat too.

Sarah Coyte also joined Fields on the bench with a thigh injury, allowing for Julie Hunter to make her way back into the team.
Plus with the shorter format Jess Jonassan comes in for Sarah Elliott who was only selected for the Test.

For England there was one change from the Test team with Katherine Brunt succumbing to a recurring back injury. With 3 seamers already in the team and the fact that spin does play a crucial role in the shorter format, England decided to go with Danni Wyatt.

The Toss:
Lanning started her captaincy positively by winning the toss and electing to bat.

Key Moments:
• Despite a slow start (that might have cost them 20 -30 runs) by Australia they were able to build an unbeaten 141 partnership between Alex Blackwell (82*) and Ellyse Perry (65*).
• Both Blackwell and Perry did have a life each, as Sarah Taylor missed two leg-side stumpings. They both would have been extraordinary, but we tend to have extremely high standards from her.
• The last 6 overs of the first innings went for 61 runs to give the Australians a defendable total of 209.
• Charlotte Edwards again led from the front to stabilise England’s innings at the top and whilst she continues to start her innings well, England look comfortable.
• Sarah Taylor again didn’t trouble the scorers. After 3 innings in the Women’s Ashes Series she has only scored a total of 10 runs, this either means that she is going again through a lean trot or is about to explode. Let’s hope for the Aussies sake it is former.
• Lydia Greenway (69*) and Arran Brindle (64*) have a wealth of experience and managed to trump the Australians partnership by 1 run, to finish with a match winning 142 run partnership.

Where to now:
• With their backs up against the wall the Australians are now required to win the remaining 5 matches if they are to regain the Ashes, which is a tough ask by any standards. All the matches are relatively close together so if they can win one, they could get on a role.
• Hopefully the Australian selectors will find a place for Nic Bolton as she adds something different to the team. Not only is she is form both domestically and in tour matches, she also bowls some handy off-spin and finally the English girls wouldn’t know too much about her.
• England are on top and don’t look like they are going to let up. They had a disappointing 2012/2013 season by not coming away with any of the silverware in the World Cups, therefore with the T20 World Cup only a couple of months away they will want to keep this momentum going.

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