The Aussies are 2-0 up in the ODI series, and already 4-0 up in the Ashes Series overall, after a resounding victory in the second ODI at Coff's Harbour. Set initially 297 to win, England never looked like getting there, and they ended 76 runs short of the D/L score of 285, after four overs were lost to rain early in England's innings.
For Australia there were half-centuries for Bolton, Healy, Perry and Haynes, but it was Rachael Haynes' knock of 89* off 56 balls which took the Aussie total beyond 275, which looked to be the par score on a good track. I hold up my hand and say I misjudged Haynes' abilities. I did not think she had a knock like that in her. She found the boundary 12 times in her innings, including three maximums. True she was badly dropped on the boundary by Tammy Beaumont on 60, but in truth the damage was already done by then. It was a sensational knock.
Things actually started to go wrong for England at the toss - they won it! With thunderstorms scheduled later in the evening it made sense to bowl first so that if targets were adjusted, as the side batting second, you knew what you needed. As it turned out most of the rain fell in the innings break and England suffered with a much slower outfield, and the fact that they are not good chasers. Had they batted first, which they undoubtedly would have done in normal circumstances, then who knows what might have happened. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.
England included 18 year old Sophie Ecclestone for her first Ashes' outing, replacing Marsh, and Australia were without Ash Gardner, who was suffering with concussion, having been hit on the head whilst batting in the first ODI - Beams took her place. Ecclestone bowled her 10 overs and took the wicket of Healy with her "arm ball". Her 1/49 was the most economical spell. In contrast Alex Hartley looked ragged in her first spell, although she improved in her second. Having said that I'd guess that Ecclestone's name is first on the team sheet out of the two of them now.
England never really recovered from being 20/2 with Winfield and Beaumont both lbw to Schutt's induckers playing across the line to full balls. Taylor then gave Tahlia McGrath her first international wicket, nicking behind (only bowling as Perry was mistakenly withdrawn from the attack by the umpires for bowling two balls over waist height - the second was not dangerous, which it needed to be under the ICCWC Playing Conditions); Sciver slapped Jonassen to mid-on before she had even got going; and Knight was adjudged lbw sweeping at Wellington. Replays showed she had edged the ball, but there is no DRS available for this series, despite the cameras and the obvious availability of hotspot technology. England were 91/5 and the game was gone.
Katherine Brunt scored her maiden ODI 50 at a run-a-ball, but the rate kept climbing and England simply ran out of batting.
At 4-0 down they are in a hole. The Aussies only need 4 more points. A win on Sunday is going to be essential, but it will take all of Mark Robinson's and Heather Knight's collective self-belief to get them there. I'd still push Sciver up to 4, and I think Robinson might look at playing Danni Hazell, perhaps instead of Hartley, to try and trouble the lefthanders outside their off-stump. But if the batting line-up can't find some runs, then who bowls is actually going to be irrelevant.