Women's Ashes ODIs
England win after record T20 chase
Mooney's century undone by Wyatt brilliance as England notch highest-ever T20I run-chase in final match of Commonwealth Bank Ashes
Sam Ferris at Manuka Oval
21 November 2017, 09:52 PM AEST
England have pulled off the greatest run chase in the history of Women's T20 internationals to win the final match of the Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes and level the series ledger at 8-all.
Set a target of 179, England slumped to 3-30 after five overs before Danni Wyatt (100) and Heather Knight (51) combined for a 121-run partnership to turn the match on its head.
Some late wickets wouldn't stop England from taking out the match by four wickets with an over to spare to record the highest successful run chase in Women's T20Is.
The stunning comeback overshadowed the brilliant century scored by Beth Mooney, who blazed 117 not out, the second-highest Women's T20I score ever.
However, Australia will feel as though the match slipped through their fingers. The hosts put down four routine catches – two by wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy and one each by Molly Strano and Megan Schutt.
England's win means the multi-format Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes is tied on eight points each after Australia won the ODI series 2-1, England the T20I series by the same margin and the points shared from the drawn Test match.
As the holders of the Women's Ashes, Australia had already retained the trophy with Friday night's win at North Sydney Oval.
At the toss, the coin fell Australia's way and Rachael Haynes had no hesitation electing to bat. The skipper announced one change: leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington in for seam bowler Sarah Aley.
Like they did two nights ago, Mooney and Alyssa Healy got the hosts off to a flyer. Mooney cut the first ball of the match through point for four, the first of five boundaries she collected in the opening 24 deliveries.
What a start to the match from Beth Mooney!https://t.co/MapxXgqh5R #WomensAshes pic.twitter.com/Nb7B3xPolt— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@SouthernStars) November 21, 2017
Healy was happy to hand the strike over to Mooney but couldn't help herself in the fifth over against the spin of Danni Hazell, taking two fours from the offie.
The pair added 59 before Healy couldn't control a Katherine Brunt slower ball and was out caught at short cover for 19 off 17 balls.
Elyse Villani had hearts in mouths when she just cleared the fielder on the fine leg fence to collect six from her second ball, but her stay ended 10 runs later when left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone angled one past her cut shot and into leg stump.
Meanwhile, Mooney breezed to her second T20I half-century from 38 balls with nine fours and looked every bit the player who ripped apart England in the first T20I last Friday.
2 - Beth Mooney has just posted the 2nd highest T20I score ever recorded by a @SouthernStars player (117* off 70 balls). Imposing. #WomensAshes pic.twitter.com/qpl7xZfOf9— OptaJim (@OptaJim) November 21, 2017
As simple as it sounds, Mooney hit the ball where the fielders weren't. When the field was up she hit over the top, when it was spread she hit through the gaps.
The left-hander moved around her crease to access vacant areas and frustrate England captain Heather Knight and take all pressure off No.4 Ellyse Perry, who trundled to eight from 13 balls with three overs to go.
She had a moment of worry as her century approached when she launched Ecclestone to the cow corner fence only for Brunt to intercept the ball but couldn't hold on to the catch and instead parried the ball for six.
A quick single on the off-side brought up her 100th run to the delight of the 3,417-strong Canberra crowd, but she wasn't done there.
From the final over the Queenslander hit four boundaries to lift Australia to an imposing total that would require England to defy history in reaching it.
No team had scored more than England's 2-165 against the Australians eight years ago at The Oval, and the pursuit started in poor fashion when Tammy Beaumont picked out Ashleigh Gardner at mid-off, the same fielder who put down a catch in identical circumstances on Sunday.
The dangerous Sarah Taylor was the next to go caught by a diving Haynes at cover to hand Jonassen a second wicket and deliver a hammer blow to England's chances of reeling in the target.
A feature of the Women's Ashes had been the impressive work behind the stumps by both wicketkeepers, but Healy had a moment to forget when she spilled an absolute sitter from Danni Wyatt, who top-edged off-spinner Molly Strano straight skywards.
Strano did her best to beat Healy's effort by dropping a dolly of her own to give Knight a life
The drops continued. Schutt put down Knight on the deep square boundary before Healy, incredibly, dropped an even easier top-edge to give the England skipper her third reprieve.
Unfazed, Wyatt and Knight crashed their way to a century partnership from just 58 balls as the realisation sunk in that the momentum had swung all the way to the tourists.
Knight brought up her 50 from 35 balls but was out one run later before Wyatt punched one through the covers to bring up her century and the first by an English woman.
Delissa Kimmince castled Wyatt for an even 100, her 57-ball knock included 13 fours and two sixes.
At that stage England were within a couple of lusty blows to secure an improbable, unlikely win, and even the loss of Brunt wouldn't deny the plucky visitors a sensation win with an over to spare.
Australia XI: Healy (wk), Mooney, Villani, Perry, Haynes (c), Gardner, Kimmince, Wellington, Strano, Jonassen, Schutt #WomensAshes— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) November 21, 2017
England XI: Beaumont, Brunt, Ecclestone, Gunn, Hazell, Knight, Sciver, Shrubsole, Taylor, Wilson, Wyatt #WomensAshes— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) November 21, 2017
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes
Australia lead England 8-6
Australia T20 squad: Sarah Aley, Alex Blackwell, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (c), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.
England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.
First ODI Australia won by two wickets
Second ODI Australia won by 75 runs (DLS method)
Third ODI England won by 20 runs (DLS method)
Day-Night Test Match drawn
First T20 Australia won by six wickets
North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation
Second T20 England won by 40 runs
Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21
Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT