Beth Mooney was named player of the match in the first ODI of the series (Image: @AusWomenCricket/Twitter)

Darcie Brown stars and Beth Mooney puts in a Player of the Match batting display but without the help of Alana King, Australia may not have the first Ashes ODI.

A chilly, summer night in Canberra was part of the formula that saw Australia defeat England in the first of three ODI matches, helping the home nation retain the women’s Ashes trophy.

Two Australians, in particular, stand out on the scorecard, Beth Mooney with a resilient knock and Darcie Brown’s destructive bowling that sunk the England order.

But there was one player whose heroics won’t be sung so loudly after this match; Alana King was essential in Australia’s win.

Beth Mooney was named player of the match, and whilst it was absolutely deserved for her fine batting innings of 73 runs, she’ll be thanking Alana King for helping her achieve that score.

Mooney needed to see out Australia’s 50 overs for a chance to win, there was a real chance at one point that Australia wasn’t going to get near a score of 200.

Mooney’s 58-run partnership with Tahlia McGrath was the largest of the match, but a minor batting collapse put Australia’s total in jeopardy.

Alana King, on one day international debut, joined Mooney at the crease with Australia seven wickets down and sticks around to put on a 52-run, much-needed partnership, aiding Mooney in getting Australia over the 200 run milestone.

Fans were even treated to a couple of King boundaries including one lovely cover drive which earned a pat on the head from her Scorchers teammate.

18-year-old bowling sensation Darcie Brown had a night to remember as she headlined a forceful attack with South Australian teammates Megan Schutt and Tahlia McGrath alongside her.

Brown was entrusted to bowl her full 10 overs, taking four wickets as she did so.

The moment of her innings came in the fourth over of the match as a good length delivery caught the outside edge of Tammy Beaumont’s bat just one ball before dismissing England skipper and most prized wicket, Heather Knight.

Brown is the only bowler to have dismissed Knight in this entire Ashes series, doing so twice now.

After the match, Brown was asked about her recent success against Knight.

“I can’t bowl (and take wickets) on command that often but luckily these two worked out,” she said

“They’ve been pretty similar balls so I’m just trying to pitch it up and get it to swing a bit but if I aim at the stumps and she misses I hit.”

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The two successive wickets lined Brown up for a hattrick opportunity and nearly pulled it off, but the youngster wasn’t too concerned.

“I just focused on each ball and wasn’t too worried a hattrick just as long as we got the result, that’s all that mattered for.”

Brown even earned the praise of the opposition captain.

“She had a good day out, she bowled well, I guess she’s a little bit skiddier than you’d expect, I guess a little bit shaky but she’s a prospect for sure, I think she had a good night tonight, bowled very well,” Knight said.

Tonight continues England’s winless series in both the men’s and women’s Ashes but remains confident that her side is able to stay competitive.

“Our mentality this series has been really good, we haven’t been able to quite get over the line, which is a shame,

“We believe we’re good enough to beat them and we’ve gone toe to toe with them in a lot of aspects, we just haven’t been able to find the killer instinct to get over the line.”

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