Annabel Sutherland stars in ODI sweep as Australia finish Ashes in style

Australia team pose with the Ashes trophy © Getty Images

Australia continued their dream run as they completed the Ashes multi-format series without dropping a game. On the final day of the series, the hosts found a new bowling hero in Annabel Sutherland as she took career-best ODI figures of four for 34 to bundle England out for 163 at the Junctional Oval in Melbourne on Tuesday (February 8). With the clean sweep in the ODI leg, Australia finished the home season winning the Ashes 12-4.

Chasing 164 to complete the sweep, Australia started well with Alyssa Healy hitting a short and wide delivery from Anya Shrubsole through the off-side. Even though Natasha Farrant got the ball to swing, she failed to control the ball and the Australian openers punished her whenever she erred in line.

In the sixth over, Healy smashed Farrant for three boundaries to completely push the momentum towards the hosts. She brought up yet another 50-run partnership with Rachael Haynes in the 11th over. The duo then hit more boundaries before Freya Davies finally got the reward for some persistent bowling. Haynes followed her partner soon after as she fell to Ecclestone for 31.

However, those two were the only success England were going to have during their bowling innings. With only a small target to go after, all the Australian batter chose to play out Ecclestone. Experienced duo of Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry didn’t let their arch rivals to have any more impact in the game or the series.

Both started slowly and were at six off 14 and two off ten at one stage before Perry used her feet to hit Charlie Dean through mid-on for a four. She then took a liking to the off-spinner hitting her for two more boundaries and a six straight down the ground.

From there, Australia sped to the target with Lanning reaching her 50 from 62 balls when she edged Davies through third. Skipper finished the match in style for the hosts as she lofted Farrant over wide long-off for a maximum. She remained not out 57 during her 90-run stand with Ellyse Perry (31*).

Only bright light in England’s bowling effort was Ecclestone giving away only 18 runs from her ten overs.

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After England opted to bat first, debutante Emma Lamb found herself in a tough place as Perry continued from where she left in the second ODI. The off-spinning allrounder had no answers to Perry when she got one to go through her defense to clatter the stumps.

From there, England went at a snail pace playing out three maidens and only 20 runs came in the power play. In this period they also lost the skipper Heather Knight with Tahlia McGrath castling her with a yorker. Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver tried to slowly build a partnership from there adding 31 runs in the next ten overs.

Beaumont, who won the T20I Player of the Year in 2021, was going through her laborious act and even Sciver couldn’t get the bowlers away. The Aussie attack was relentless and all the bowlers kept producing frugal overs one after the other.

When the partnership reached 50 in the 26th over, Beaumont was batting on 23 off 71 balls, while Sciver managed to fare slightly better scoring 30 off 59 balls. In the 30th over, the latter survived an LBW call with the help of DRS as England crawled to 80 at the end of it.

However, the next over saw first signs of aggression with Beaumont taking on Jess Jonassen. She first launched the left-arm spinner over long-on before cutting her for another boundary. She also smashed McGrath for back-to-back fours on her way her fifty from 98 balls.

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Just when it looked like the duo would open up for England, Alana King had Beaumont hit one straight to mid-off to end the 88-run stand. Danielle Wyatt started promisingly launching King over long-off for a maximum. With Sutherland returning to the attack, Australia struck again with Wyatt getting caught on the boundary by Megan Schutt for just nine.

Sciver fell soon after as Schutt trapped her in front of the wicket for 46. Ecclestone came and went as she became the victim of another Sutherland yorker. From there, Dean played a few shots but no one else stood up at the other end as England were bowled out for 163. The visitors lost last eight wickets for just 56 runs.

For Australia, Sutherland finished with figures of four for 31, while Schutt picked up two wickets with four other bowlers chipping in with one wicket apiece.

Brief Scores: England 163/10 in 49.3 overs (Tammy Beaumont 50, Natalie Sciver 46; Annabel Sutherland 4/31) lost to Australia 164/2 in 36.2 overs (Meg Lanning 57*, Alyssa Healy 42, Sophie Ecclestone 1/18) POTM: Annabel Sutherland POTS: Tahlia McGrath