On a beautiful summers day in Hobart, the Southerns Stars celebrated Australia Day the only way they knew how to, with a close but extremely important win.
Today was the last ODI match of the Series with the Australians requiring to win all remaining fixtures to regain the convented Ashes trophy.
Having watched and played a lot of cricket, I would have to say that this win was exceptional and of the highest standards. An enthralling ODI match that yielded over 500 runs in a days play, that went down to the last over and had all the drama and theatre that is synonymous with Ashes cricket.
After the Southern Stars clinched their first Ashes victory this summer, Meg Lanning and her team remained the same for the third ODI.
England on the other-hand made one change. It was no surprise to see Danni Wyatt dropped, but the surprising factor was that a bowler didn’t come in to replace her, instead it was another batter Amy Jones.
England won their first toss in this ODI Series and had no hesitation to bat on a flat pitch with a lightening outfield.
Australia 6-269 defeated England 4-268 by 4 wickets with 3 balls to spare
England 8 points
Australia 4 points
4 points still up for grabs in the remaining three T20s.
* Sarah Taylor woken in the last ODI match in Melbourne, continued where she left off by time the ball extremely well. It was dangerous times for the Australians until Jessica Cameron pulled off her trade mark “sensational catch” to dismiss Taylor for 64 runs off 57 balls.
* I felt that England were in a position to really accelerate and post a formidable total of 280 plus. But the fact that the Australian bowlers were able to keep Lydia Greenway (25 off 48) and Arran Brindle (*26 off 25) quiet, halted their momentum.
* Jenny Gunn has an ability to change the game and today was no different as she combined with Sarah Taylor to affect the crucial leg-side stumping of a brutal Meg Lanning (40 off 30). Australia were still in a good position but when Gunn also ran out Jessica Cameron at the non-strikers end off a deflection, I felt that the tide had turned and England were in the box seat.
* Australia fought back with Alex Blackwell registering her third 50 from just as many ODIs, combining nicely with Ellyse Perry to put on an 86 run partnership to give Australia hope.
* Dani Hazell was the standout bowler for both sides bowling her ten overs and picked up the key wicket of Nicole Bolton (31) returning the figures of 1-25.
* Ellyse Perry timed her innings to perfection and didn’t seem flustered in her match winning innings to remain unbeaten on 90 runs off 95 deliveries. She managed to shift up a gear when required and showed the class to be now considered in my opinion the best all-rounder in the world.
* Erin Osborne, might have just played her best innings for Australia. Coming in with the run rate getting close to 9 runs per over, England tried to squeeze her, but she was up for the challenge finding the boundary with ease. Erin’s 40 runs off 25 balls allowed Perry not to panic as they were able to get it down to a run a ball for the last over and eventually win with 3 balls left.
Where to Now:
* England would be gutted with that lost and I am sure all players and coaching staff will be wondering where they went wrong and how they let it slip from their grasp. Psychologically it is a huge blow for them and on the flip side the Australian have got some wind in their sails and now have the belief.
* I believe that England got their selections wrong by opting for another batter (who didn’t actually bat) instead of a bowler. Charlotte Edwards seemed to have run out of bowlers by the end of the innings which cost her team dearly.
* The Women’s Ashes Series now heads to three T20s that will act as the curtain raiser for the men. The Australians have had their success against England such as the T20 World Cup in 2012, so hopefully they can open up a few scares.
* I would expect a few changes from both sides as they try to find the right balance of players in the shortest format of the game. Jodie Fields may return to Captain and keep, but a question to all of you, do you change a winning formula?
Ones to watch:
Meg Lanning has been extremely quiet throughout the Ashes Series with the bat but today showed why she is one of the most exciting batters in the game.
Charlotte Edwards will again lead from the front both with the bat and on the field. She has the ability to inspire the best from their players and with so much at stake she will lift to another level.
Sarah Taylor has impressed with the bat the last couple of ODIs and has been exceptional behind the stumps. She is a real danger player for Australia
Ellyse Perry has a knack to put on a brilliant performance when matches are televised and seeing as she is hitting the ball well, I don’t see that coincidence changing.
BUCKLE UP IT IS GOING TO GET EXCITING