Ellyse Perry says it was the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars’ “killer instinct” that clinched the Women’s Ashes in the most special win of her decorated international career.
The Stars put in the bowling performance of a lifetime to dismiss England for 87 and win by 20 runs to take an unassailable 10-4 points lead in the multi-format series with one match remaining.
Quick Single: Southern Stars regain the Ashes
But after England restricted Australia to 7-107 from their 20 overs, Perry says the Stars knew they needed to bowl the hosts out to win the match, and that’s exactly what they did.
“The whole team has got a killer instinct to be honest,” Perry told Sky Sports after the match. “To take five wickets in the first six overs was a dream start, it was exactly what we needed to do.
“I think we felt we needed to take 10 wickets in less than 20 overs to win the game, and it’s so amazing how well everyone bowled and fielded today – so much better than last game.
Perry narrowly misses a hat-trick (restrictions apply)
“It’s unbelievable, especially to win in that fashion.
“England couldn’t have bowled much better than they did today again, and for us to come out and do that, it’s probably the most special win I’ve been involved in, and it really says a lot about the character of the side.”
Leading in to the three-match T20 series, Australia needed to win only one game to win the Ashes on English soil for the first time since 2001.
A slip-up in Essex where England won by seven wickets meant the Stars still had two bites at the cherry, but coach Matthew Mott didn’t want to leave it until the final match on Monday.
“We spoke about making it sure it was World Cup final and not leaving it to wait for Cardiff,” Mott told cicket.com.au.
“It was really important we played with that mentality because if we’re being completely honest, in the first game (in Essex) we were a little bit off the pace.
“Maybe because it was quite a while since the Test I think we were expecting us to turn up and play well but it wasn’t to happen.
“It was definitely a different mentality tonight. We were really disappointed with our batting in the first half.
Farrell's freaky run-out (restrictions apply)
“We thought we were at least 40-50 short of what par score was.
“As a group, we challenged them at halfway to make up for that and they responded extremely well which was amazing.
“It was quite a good wicket that. To keep them under that score and win by 20 runs was a fantastic achievement.”
After the first innings, Mott and his support staff could have been excused for thinking ahead to the Cardiff game with still half of Friday’s match to be played.
But as they’ve done all series, the Stars bowling unit was too hot to handle, crippling England’s run chase inside the powerplay to set up a memorable victory for Australia and Mott in his first series as head coach.
Extended highlights of Aussies' win (restrictions apply)
“Hindsight’s great, but at the halfway it was tough to find positives,” Mott said.
“But we made sure everyone went out there with that must-win attitude.
“We talked about leaving no stone unturned, to go out there and play as hard as we could, get in their face, build the pressure, take early wickets.
“And it went to script, 5-28 after six overs was probably better than we could’ve expected.
“Ellyse Perry up-front was unbelievable. Great presence, bowled extremely well, key wickets.
“And then Renee Farrell followed up extremely well and deservedly ended up with player of the match award.
“A really good all-round display.
“Our fielding, our intensity, it was like everything was on the line.
“We didn’t want to go to Cardiff having to win because we thought we’d played well in this series.
“We played one bad game the other day and thankfully it was only a bad half tonight.”