Women's Ashes, 2017, 3rd ODI Review: Heather Knight plays a captain's knock to take England home

Women’s Ashes, 2017, 3rd ODI Review: Heather Knight plays a captain’s knock to take England home

England captain Heather Knight scored 88 runs off 80 balls as England registered their first points of the tour. 

Heather Knight
England’s Heather Knight celebrates with the player of the match award. (Photo by Jason O’Brien/Getty Images)

Australia won the first two games of the ODI leg of the Ashes as they enjoyed a 4 points lead in the series. It was extremely important for England to win the final ODI if they wanted to make a comeback in the series. England captain, Heather Knight played a captain’s knock scoring 88 runs off 80 balls as England registered their first points of the tour.

Heather Knight decided to bat first

In the last ODI, Heather Knight decided to invite the Australians to bat first. That strategy did not pay off, so this time she decided to bat first on winning the toss. The visitors did not get off to a good start as they lost the wicket of Lauren Winfield very early in the innings. Then Sarah Taylor joined Tammy Beaumont at the crease and built together a 122 run partnership.

After the dismissal of Taylor, English captain Heather Knight came to the crease. She built a solid partnership with Beaumont and took England close to 200. Before being dismissed Beaumont did enough to ensure that England was in good position to make full use of the death overs. But England failed to make full use of the platform as they kept losing the wickets at regular intervals.

England failed to build any momentum as no batter was able to stay long enough at the crease. Heather Knight tried her best holding an end firmly as she kept losing partners on the other end. Knight played a brilliant innings to ensure England reached close to 300 but at the end, they failed to reach that mark. England finished with a healthy score of 284.

Megan Schutt was the star with the ball for the Australians as she chipped away with 4 important wickets which helped to put brakes on the English. Perry also did well as she took two wickets to provide support to Megan Schutt who was in great form.

The Run Chase

Australians needed a good start if they wanted to chase the steep target set by the English. Alyssa Healy and Nicole Bolton provided Australia a great start as they built a 118 run opening partnership. The two openers got off to a fast start as they were scoring at more than a run a ball. But rain also wanted to play a part in the game as play had to be stopped. The new target of 278 in 48 overs was set for the hosts.

The opening pair’s rhythm suffered due to the break as they fell behind the required run rate. Alyssa Healy perished trying to increase the run rate, but she had put up a solid foundation before that. Ellyse Perry joined Nicole Bolton at the crease as the two kept rotating strike and getting close to the target. The wicket of Bolton proved to be the turning point of the game. Alex Hartley took the wicket of Bolton, as it opened the floodgates.

Australians kept on losing the wickets from there, as none of the batters was able to put up resistance. Alex Blackwell who was playing her 250th game did try to steady the ship for Australia but she could not come up with big hits when they were needed. In the end, target proved too much as Australia lost by 20 runs and England cut Australia’s 4 point lead by half.

Alex Hartley was the star of the show with the ball as she took 3 wickets to break the back of Australian chase. Anya Shrubsole did a good job too, as she did not allow the Australian batters to score freely. She only conceded 40 runs in her quota of 10 overs at a miserly economy rate of 4.

Brief Scores

England Women 284/8 in 50 overs (Knight 88*, Beaumont 74, Schutt 4/44)

Australia Women 257/8 in 48 overs (Healy 71, Bolton 62, Hartley 3/45)