Natalie Sciver on her way to reach an unbeaten 43-ball 68. Picture: ©ICC

This was the second match of the tri-series and both teams were geared up with the positive mindset. Australia winning the 1st match faced a setback as their captain Meg Lanning was not playing the match. Rachael Haynes led the team in her absence. On the other side, it was the first match of the tour for the fresh England. Fortune favoured England as they won the toss and elected to bowl first. Their decision almost paid off as they restricted power-packed batting line-up of Australia on 149/8. Inform Australian openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney gave flying start to the team until Katie George’s stunner throw got the run out of dangerous Mooney. Gardner and Healy started off well but couldn’t convert the start to a big total as they both got out in the Natalie Sciver’s match-turning over.

After 8 overs, Australia was 66/3. The whole responsibility was on the experienced middle order of Aussies. Haynes slammed 65 runs off 45 balls but didn’t get support from teammates as Australia settled on 149. Positive intent on the field and continuous breakthrough helped England to restrict Australia. Apart from Haynes, Healy 31 (23) was the top scorer for the Southern Stars. England’s bowling was at its best with Jenny Gun bagging 3 wickets and Sciver 2 wickets, well supported by the fielding efforts which got two run outs in the innings.

For the confident England, it was not a daunting task to chase down. Danielle Wyatt and debutant Bryony Smith opened the innings. Both of them got out within a small span. After 2 early wickets, it was a golden chance for the mighty Australians to make a comeback into the match. But Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver stole the show in favour of England. Both the batters tore apart the bowling attack of the Southern Stars which led to an easy one-sided chase. After taking two early wickets Australia failed to bag a single wicket over the innings. This helped England to win a match by 8 wickets. Megan Schutt and Delissa Kimmince bagged single wicket each. Tammy Beaumont 58*(44) and Natalie Sciver 68*(43) were the top scorers from England.

Natalie Sciver was adjudged the player of the match for her two wickets with bowl and 68 runs with the bat. We can expect thrilling contest in the upcoming matches of the series. England will face the host nation on 25th March.

Flash scores:-

England 150/2 (N Sciver 68, D Kimmince 1/12) beat Australia 149/8 (R Haynes 65, J Gunn 3/26) by 8 wickets.