28/05/2024

Annabel Sutherland took a career best 4-31 against England, as Australia completed an ODI sweep at the Junction Oval in the final game of the Womens Ashes. Image: @AusWomensCricket/ Twitter

Annabel Sutherland's career best figures of 4-31 helped Australia cruise to a convincing win and fire a warning shot ahead of the World Cup

Australis had already retained the Women’s Ashes on Thursday and won the series on Sunday, but continued to show no mercy on England, firing another warning shot ahead of the World Cup with an eight-wicket victory at the Junction Oval.

They completed the Multi-Format series in style, going undefeated, winning 12 points – 4 across the three legs.

With a plethora of bowing options to chose from early, Meg Lanning again rotated her bowlers all throughout the 50 overs, restricting the scoring rate of England again as they could only move the scoring rate at over two runs an over for the majority of the innings.

Annabel Sutherland was the chief destroyer for the home side this time around, taking career-best figures 4/31 off nine overs.

Looking to get some momentum and combinations right heading into the World Cup, England made three changes to thier starting eleven, handing a debut to opening batter Emma Lamb in place of Lauren Winfield-Hill. Kate Cross also missed after landing heavily on her wrist last game and England opted to play the extra bowler, naming Freya Davies and  Tash Farrant in the side in place of Cross and Sophia Dunkley.

Lamb’s day was over almost as soon as it began as she was bowled by an Ellyse Perry in-swinger second ball.

England lost their second wicket before the powerplay was done, with Heather Knight, who has failed to get going and make a meaningful contribution after her Test match heroics, falling leg before to Tahlia McGrath.

Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver dug in for the tourists, building a long partnership, and looked to set a platform for England to launch at the back end and post a commanding total.

Beaumont raised her bat for 50 in a 88 run partnership with Sciver before Alana King tempted Beaumont with a lofted drive down the ground which was skied into the waiting hands of Tahlia McGrath.

Beaumont and Sciver departed in quick succession and the wickets continued to tumble again for England. Making it to the 50th over before Jess Jonassen took the final wicket bowling England out for 163.

It’s now the sixth time in eight innings that England has failed to bat out their 50 overs.

Led by the reliable combination of Healy and Haynes at the top of the order, Australia made the best possible start to the small run chase, racing to the end of the first powerplay unbeaten with 47 on the board.

They passed the 50 run stand before both openers fell in quick succession. Seam bowler Freya Davies, who mixed up her pace caught Alyssa Healy playing a rash shot which caught the top edge and pouched safely by Tammy Beaumont.

Meg Lanning partnered Ellyse Perry at the crease and slowly and steadily went about running down the total. The pair have an imperious record batting together in run chases – averaging over 90 in chases when at the crease together and looked unfazed as they marched towards another 50 run partnership, their 15th batting together in 26 innings.

Lanning reached her half-century off just 62 balls, finishing unbeaten and guiding Australia home.

Speaking post-game after being awarded ‘Player of the series’, Tahlia McGrath spoke of the groups’ pleasure to finish off the series strongly and not allowing England back in after they first retained then won the series outright. Building strongly to the World Cup in New Zealand next month.

“Very pleasing (to win the series outright), it’s something we have spoken about a lot,” McGrath said.

“Once we retained the Ashes it was about winning them outright and then it was about not letting England in at all.

“It was really important for us to finish off the job and couldn’t be happier to finish the series the way we did.

“Good momentum heading into the World Cup”

Freya Davies was the pick of the English bowlers despite going for runs later in her spell, taking 1/46 off her ten overs. Sophie Ecclestone was the other wicket-taker for England.

Both teams will depart for New Zealand on Thursday and undertake a 10 day hard quarantine period on arrival before facing off against each other again at Seddon Park in Hamilton on March 5th in their first group game for the tournament.

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