In the first game England won easily bowling out the Shooting Stars for just 75 in 17.4 overs. Only Patterson (26), Graham (13) and Molineaux (11) made it into double figures as Sophie Ecclestone claimed 3/11 off her four overs and Sophia Dunkley 3/16 off 3.4 overs. In reply England lost only openers Hollie Armitage (11) and Georgia Adams (20) as Sophia Dunkley (20*) and Fran Wilson (7*) knocked off the runs in just 12.2 overs.
But the second game was a much closer affair with the Aussies this time batting a little better, and England fielding worse, which allowed them to accumulate 111/6 at the end of their 20 overs. Alex Hartley bowled smartly to claim 3/15 off her allotted overs and Sophie Ecclestone (1/18) and Freya Davies (1/25) were the only other wicket-takers. Tahlia McGrath (32*) top scored for the Shooting Stars.
England made a horrible start in reply losing Adams bowled for a duck in the first over and Hollie Armitage caught for 1 in the third over, at which stage they were 6/2. But Emma Lamb looked in imperious form - the only bat to do so during the entire day. She lost Evelyn Jones lbw (8) at 32/3, but had taken England to relative comfort at 70/3 in the tenth over before she pulled a short ball to midwicket for 45. In the next over Sophie Luff (8) also went caught at mid-on, but England still only needed 39 from 9.3 overs, with five wickets in hand. Fran Wilson (12) and Alex Macdonald (7) had got the equation down to 21 off the last five before Macdonald was stumped and then Wilson caught on the boundary at cow corner. England needed 18 off the last three overs and a sumptuous 4 over extra cover from Beth Langston (7) eased the England nerves. Next ball she connected well with a sweep off a full toss. The ball was destined for the boundary but Sophie Molineaux stuck out a right paw at square leg and took a screaming catch. It was probably the key moment.
England were eight down and still needed 10 to win with 13 balls left. Ellie Threlkeld (6) and Steph Butler (4*) got that down to five to win from the last over. They scrambled one from the first ball as both batsmen came, went, waited and finally ran and bowler Alex Price could not get back to the stumps in time to run Butler out. Next ball Threlkeld was well caught behind by Banting as she tried to dab down to third man. The third ball was a dot ball and England managed two on a misfield at midwicket. Number 11 Sophie Ecclestone (2) was on strike for the last two balls with England just one run behind. The fifth ball was a dot and with the final ball Ecclestone was stumped to give Australia the game by one run.
|Threlkeld goes with four balls to come|