'It felt like relief' - Nat Sciver-Brunt on England's first victory over Australia after 11 international matches
England beat Australia by three runs in the second Women's Ashes T20I at Kennington Oval, London.
England made a sensational comeback in the Women’s Ashes 2023 as they beat Australia by three runs in the second T20I at Kennington Oval, London. The victory ended an 11-match streak of Australia over England. Notably, the Heather Knight-led side managed to beat the arch-rivals for the first time in any format since 2020.
After being put in to bat first, England posted a massive score of 186/9 in their allotted 20 overs courtesy of a breathtaking innings by Danielle Wyatt (76 off 46). In reply, Australia came mighty close to chasing the target as they finished their innings on 183/8 and lost the match by three runs. Meanwhile, following her side’s thrilling victory, England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt said that the win felt like a relief.
"After the game (on Wednesday), it felt like relief and it felt like 'Oh, this is what we should be doing the whole time'," Sciver-Brunt was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Further reflecting on their long victory drought, the 30-year-old said that the team was going through a mental gap and will keep believing in themselves in the upcoming games.
"I feel like we've believed in ourselves quite a lot more than we have in the past over the last 12 months but not quite got the results. It was probably just a mental gap that we had before. Skills-wise, I'd say we're probably pretty evenly matched. So, we're really happy to have got over the line and I think that will hopefully accelerate our belief in ourselves,” she added.
Coming back to the match, Australia were reeling at 96/5 after 12.2 overs during their chase. However, a brilliant fifty from Ellyse Perry (51* off 27) kept them in the hunt along with contributions from Annabel Sutherland (20 off 12) and Georgia Wareham (19 off 11).
Australia one win away from retaining the Ashes
Australia further needed 20 off the last over with Perry getting off strike on the first ball. She returned to face the ball on the fourth delivery with her team needing 18 off the last three. The 32-year-old managed to send two balls into the crowd but could only get a double on fourth ball. As a result, England won the match and kept the Ashes alive.
Australia have six points to their name in the series, having won the one-off Test and first T20I, and need just one more win to retain the Ashes, having won it in the last edition in 2022. On the other hand, England need to win the last T20I and the remaining three ODIs to win the coveted urn. The two teams will be seen giving each other another tough fight in the third T20I on July 8 at Lord's.