Australia won this second Commonwealth Bank ODI with a dominance that has come to be expected of the golden team. England never looked like winning from the moment Heather Knight called correctly at the toss and put the hosts in.
Each side made one change each, the Southern Stars were enforced as Ashleigh Gardner was sidelined with a concussion and Kristen Beams replaced her. While England decided to bring in Sophie Ecclestone replacing Laura Marsh.
Nicole Bolton and Alyssa Healy got Australia off to a steady start. Bolton soaking up the pressure rotating the strike that allowed Healy to play her natural attacking game. They put on 98 for the first wicket before Healy was bowled by Ecclestone, playing in her first Ashes.
Healy had scored 56 from 54 balls with 6 fours and 1 six, before trying to nurdle an arm ball and losing the top of her off stump. All it did was bring in another tormentor in the shape of Ellyse Perry. Perry has been in fine form since being moved up the order and has rarely failed.
When Katherine Brunt dropped a return catch with Perry on 41 it looked like Australia were going to post a total more than 300.
Of Australia’s top five it was only Elyse Villani who failed being caught at point by Knight who took a diving catch to her left. Australia managed to build partnerships allowing them to steadily accelerate as the innings when on.
It was Racheal Haynes the Aussie skipper that stole the show for Australia. While Bolton and Perry had been watchful, it meant that Haynes and Healy were able to up the pace. Haynes finished on 89 not out from 56 balls in an innings that included 9 fours and 3 sixes.
Australia only failed to get over the 300 mark when Jenny Gunn took two wickets in the final over. It was still to prove beyond the reach of England.
As the players were coming off the field the ground staff were bringing the covers on as there were rain and hail near enough to cause some concern, and so it proved to be. England’s innings was delayed by hail and when they finally got on the field it never really got started.
Megan Schutt the opening bowler accounted for both of England’s openers, first Lauren Winfield and then Tammy Beaumont both lbw.
England still looked below their best, their batsmen got out just when on the cusp of building a partnership, England found ways of getting out. Heather Knight was unlucky to be given out lbw to the impressive Amanda-Jade Wellington as HotSpot replays had shown a slight under-edge, which would explain why Knight left the field with a heavy heart and a shaking head.
It was the only Brunt that offered any real resistance and scored England’s only 50 of the series so far. Brunt made 52 from 54 balls, including 5 fours and a six.
Australia won with such ease that it didn’t matter as much as it might have done that Perry only managed to bowl 2.4 overs before she was pulled from the attack by umpire Claire Polosak after she had bowled two full-tosses over waist height. The first sailed over Knight’s head, and the second was wide.
England has got a lot of work to do if they are to salvage this Ashes series. Australia has won four points so far and only need to win four more to regain the Ashes.