Natalie Sciver-Brunt, bowlers help England win ODI series

Natalie Sciver-Brunt hit her fourth century against Australia in her last five innings to take England to a ODI series win. This is Australia's first series loss in the format since 2013.

Shajin Mohanan S
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Natalie Sciver-Brunt

England take the ODI series © Getty Images

Natalie Sciver-Brunt smashed yet another magnificent century - her foruth against Australia in her last five ODI innings - and bowlers backed up her efforts with an all-round performance to help England win the final ODI in Taunton on Tuesday (July 19). The win helped England take the ODI series 2-1 and level The Ashes series. Australia had already retained the urn with their victory in the second ODI. The multi-format series ended with both teams sharing eight points each.

Put into bat by Alyssa Healy, England made one forced change with Charlie Dean replacing Sarah Glenn. Glenn had an appendicitis and has had an operation on the previous day. They didn't have a great start as an out of touch Sophia Dunkley fell early in the third over bowled by Ashleigh Gardner and Tammy Beaumont followed her to pavilion in the next over.

Once again, England needed the experienced leadership duo of Heather Knight and Sciver-Brunt to stand up and take them to safety. And this time the pair combined to make the record third wicket partnership for England in ODIs.

They started slowly and England were 68 for 2 at the end of the 15th over. Knight was the aggressor early on and Sciver-Brunt was happy to bide her time. However, the newly crowned number one allrounder in ODIs broke free in the 16th over when she hit King for a four and a six.

The England vice-captain brought up her fifty from 73 balls in the 24th over and Knight joined her with a 51-ball fifty after she hit a six off Georgia Wareham to bring up the century partnership between the two. By the time Knight fell while trying to slog King, the duo had added 147 runs for the third wicket.

Although Alice Capsey was dismissed early by Jess Jonassen, Sciver-Brunt found an able partner in Danielle Wyatt. Sciver-Brunt took a single off Tahlia McGrath to bring up her second consecutive century and fourth in five innings against Australia in ODIs. 

At the other end, Wyatt teed off against the Australian bowlers and hit two maximums - one on the off-side and one on the on-side. Just as it looked like the pair will take the game away from the visitors, McGrath bowled Wyatt for 43 off just 25 balls.

Sciver-Brunt eventually fell for a 149-ball 129 as she helped England to a competitive total. The spinners did most of the damage for Australia with Gardner and Jonassen taking three-wickets apiece.

In the chase, Australia didn't have the greatest of starts either as Phoebe Litchfield fell early to Lauren Bell as the southpaw edged Lauren Bell to slips and then Kate Cross cleaned up an out of form Healy. Australia were reeling at 15 for 2 at this stage.

From there, Ellyse Perry and McGrath added 53 runs for the third wicket and scored a few boundaries to make sure that Australia didn't fall behind. However, McGrath was stumped brilliantly by Amy Jones - who had a great day behind the stumps - for 26.

At the 19.2 over mark, rain came down in Taunton and the play was briefly interrupted enough to reduce the match to 44 overs. Chasing the new DLS target of 269, Perry began well as she hit Charlie Dean for a six over long-on to bring up her fifty.

However, Knight re-introduced Cross into the attack and the experienced seamer delivered for England with twin wickets of Perry and Beth Mooney. With five wickets down, Gardner decided to take on the bowlers and smashed Bell for 17 runs in the 27th over. The allrounder then took on Cross with two more boundaries. 

Wyatt's arm accounted for Gardner when the batter went for a second run and was run out the non-striking end for 41 off 24 balls.

Althought Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham tried to add a few runs, once Jones pulled off another excellent stumping to remove Wareham, Australia fell away and had their first ODI series loss since 2013.

Brief Scores: England 285/9 in 50 overs (Natalie Sciver-Brunt 129; Heather Knight 67; Jess Jonassen 3/30, Ashleigh Gardner 3/39) beat Australia 199/10 in 35.3 overs (Ellyse Perry 53, Ashleigh Gardner 41; Kate Cross 3/48, Charlie Dean 2/37) by 69 runs (DLS Method)