Australia secured a nail-biting two-wicket victory over England on Tuesday in the first women's ODI in Leicester. As a result of this win, the Southern Stars have taken two points to start off the Women's Ashes.
Chasing 178, Australia got off to a bad start as their opener Nicole Bolton (2) was sent back to the pavilion by Anya Shrubsole. Skipper Meg Lanning (16) failed to do something substantial with the bat as she was dismissed by Katherine Brunt, reducing Southern Stars to 45/2. Ellyse Perry (3), Rachael Haynes (10) also departed cheaply to leave Australia in a spot of bother at 92/4. Alyssa Healy (66) was playing in an aggressive manner and the team's hopes were relying on her, but as soon as she was dismissed England gained the upper hand in the match.
England kept on chipping away at the wickets and at one stage they had reduced Australia to 167/8 with the team still requiring 11 runs to win. But in the end, Delissa Kimmince was able to maintain her cool and she ensured Australia's win by two wickets. Kimmince remained unbeaten on 14.
Earlier, Australia displayed a spirited bowling performance to bundle out England for just 177 runs after electing to bowl first. England had a horrid start with the bat as Tammy Beaumont (16), Amy Jones (0), Sarah Taylor (1), and Heather Knight (0) went back to the pavilion with just 19 runs on the board. Perry wreaked havoc on English batsmen as she dismantled the top order.
Wickets kept tumbling at the other hand, but Natalie Sciver held the fort at one hand to allow England to go past the 130-run mark. But Sciver (64) was finally dismissed in the 38th over by Jess Jonassen. Laura Marsh and Sophie Ecclestone played late-order cameos to allow England to go past the 170-run mark. Marsh remained unbeaten on 24 whereas Ecclestone was dismissed after playing a knock of 27 runs.
Perry was the maximum wicket-taker for Australia as she scalped three wickets. Australia will face England in the second ODI on July 4.
Brief Scores: Australia 178/8 (Alyssa Healy 66, Beth Mooney 25, Sophie Ecclestone 3-34) beat England 177/10 (Natalie Sciver 64, Sophie Ecclestone 27, Ellyse Perry 3-43) by two wickets.
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