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England Women put icing on the cake

By Chris Devine at the Emirates Durham ICG

England rounded off a successful Women’s Ashes campaign in style with a comprehensive seven-wicket triumph over Australia in the final NatWest International T20.

With the main prize already secured, Charlotte Edwards’ side could perhaps have been forgiven for easing up a little at the Emirates Durham ICG.

That was far from the case, however, as Australia were put to the sword for a fifth successive match in ruthless fashion.

A disciplined bowling performance limited the tourists to a paltry total of 91 for seven after Edwards had chosen to field.

Heather Knight, Sarah Taylor and Edwards departed cheaply in reply as England slipped to 14 for three, the former unfortunately injuring her hamstring as she looked to avoid being stumped.

Yet Lydia Greenway, fresh from striking a match-winning 80 not out - her country’s record T20 score - at the Ageas Bowl, stayed calm to usher in victory alongside the assured Natalie Sciver with 22 balls to spare.

Despite not being at her fluent best early on, Greenway grew in stature to finish unbeaten on 35 from 34 deliveries.

Sciver, meanwhile, added 37 not out off 44 balls to surpass her previous international best of 26 compiled eight days earlier in the one-day international leg of the series.

England therefore win the first multi-format Ashes by an emphatic margin of 12 points to four, a terrific effort given they were 4-2 down following the first ODI at Lord’s.

Australia’s innings never got going, summed up by the fact Meg Lanning, who struck four fours, was the only batter to find the fence prior to Erin Osborne registering a boundary off the final ball of the 20th over.

Elyse Villani, making her first appearance of the tour, lasted just two balls before falling lbw to Katherine Brunt, who augmented fine figures of 1-14 from four overs by running out Alyssa Healy with a direct hit from deep cover.

Sciver got in on the act by ousting Jess Cameron for her first T20 international wicket and Australia were left in a big hole when Lanning, comfortably the top scorer with 32, was caught behind off Danni Wyatt’s first ball.

Both Alex Blackwell and Ellyse Perry were bowled in quick succession aiming ugly heaves across the line at Danni Hazell and skipper Jodie Fields holed out to deep midwicket with the run-rate remaining sedate.

Yet any thoughts of England coasting to victory were initially put on the backburner as Australia hit back with the ball.

Coyte had Knight caught behind - although replays suggested she should have been adjudged the victim of a stumping instead as there was no edge - and Taylor held at midwicket in successive overs, while Edwards dragged a wide delivery from Holly Ferling on to her stumps.

From a position of potential peril, England’s fourth-wicket pair responded superbly, mixing the occasional boundary with steady accumulation and eager running between the wickets.

It was not long before the chase was firmly back on track and Sciver finished the job by driving down the ground for three in the 17th over.

Match Scorecard

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England Innings

12:34pm - END OF MATCH - ENG 92/3; Greenway 35, Sciver 37 - ENGLAND WIN BY SEVEN WICKETS!! England cruise home with more than three overs to spare. That was a fantastic way to end the summer. The first multi-format Women's Ashes ends with the hosts triumphing 12-4.

12:27pm - This is looking rather easy now. A textbook reverse sweep from Greenway reduces the target to 12.

12:23pm - The fifty partnership arrives in the 14th over, which ends with England needing just 19 more for victory following a swept Greenway four from a free-hit. The assured Sciver has passed her previous international best of 26.

12:13pm - BUZZERS! Coyte shies at the stumps in a bid to run out Greenway and England claim four overthrows as Australia fail to back up the throw.

12:09pm - Greenway has yet to find her best form and sees a leading edge fly through cover for two. The target is down to 44 from 54.

11:57am - The luckless Ellyse Perry sees Greenway almost pick out cover with a mis-timed drive before Sciver gets an inside edge past the stumps for four.

11:51am - CHANCE! - Sciver almost departs to Erin Osborne's first ball, but wicketkeeper Jodie Fields is unable to take a thick outside edge.

11:46am - The accurate Coyte gives up a first boundary as Lydia Greenway pierces the field at cover. Natalie Sciver is also at the crease for England, who are 22 for three after five.

11:41am - WICKET! Edwards b Ferling 10; Eng 14/3 - Edwards pulls fine for four more but then drags a wide delivery onto her stumps. England's chase is not going to plan at all!

11:32am - WICKET! Taylor c Osborne b Coyte 2; Eng 7/2 - Charlotte Edwards exhibits sweet timing when collecting four through the leg side off Holly Ferling. However, there's a second wicket for Sarah Coyte next ball as Sarah Taylor chips tamely to short midwicket.

11:27am - WICKET! Knight c Fields b Coyte 0; Eng 1/1 - This looks nasty. Heather Knight falls awkwardly as she looks to avoid being stumped. Having been given out caught behind - even though it appeared there was no edge - she needs to be helped from the field. What a shame. Replays suggest Knight injured her hamstring as she stretched back in vain.

Australia Innings

11:10am - END OF INNINGS - Aus 91/7; Osborne 15, Coyte 7 - Erin Osborne finds the boundary at backward square-leg from the final ball of the innings. Lanning was the only other Australia batter to register a four, which sums up a rather dismal showing from the tourists. England require just 92 for a T20 clean sweep.

11:02am - WICKET! Fields c Greenway b Gunn 14; Aus 73/7 - The breakthroughs keep on coming. Australia's captain holes out to deep midwicket where the reliable figure of Lydia Greenway makes no mistake.

10:59am - England will certainly fancy their chances from here. Australia remain in a miserable position at 70 for six with three overs to come.

10:52am - WICKET! Perry b Hazell 0; Aus 63/6 - And now Ellyse Perry falls in similar fashion! England are rampant.

10:51am - WICKET! Blackwell b Hazell 4; Aus 63/5 - Blackwell aims an ugly swipe across the line and is cleaned up.

10:49am - Alex Blackwell survives an lbw appeal from Holly Colvin, umpire Martin Saggers spotting a slight deflection off the glove before the ball struck the back pad plumb in front. Jodie Fields is the other batter in occupation now and Australia require a very strong finish as they end the 14th over on 62 for four.

10:41am - WICKET! Lanning c Taylor b Wyatt 32; Aus 52/4 - Danni Wyatt strikes with her first ball. An off-break from around the wicket skidded on and induced a fine edge from Lanning through to wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor. Wyatt subsequently completes a wicket-maiden.

10:35am - WICKET! Cameron c Brindle b Sciver 6; Aus 42/3 - England are firmly on top here. Natalie Sciver picks up her maiden T20 international wicket as Cameron skies to cover. Lanning cuts the next ball behind square for her fourth four.

10:33am - New batter Jess Cameron narrowly avoids becoming another run-out victim as Charlotte Edwards just misses the stumps with a throw from short fine-leg. Cameron was nowhere near making her ground. Australia end the ninth over on 40 for two.

10:27am - WICKET! Healy run out (Brunt) 10; Aus 33/2 - Healy's laborious innings comes to an end as Brunt pulls off a superb diving hit from deep cover.

10:26am - Alyssa Healy has nine from 22 deliveries but Lanning continues to look good, cutting Brunt, who finishes with 1-14 from four overs, to the backward point fence.

10:20am - Meg Lanning clears the fielder at extra-cover from Hazell's second delivery and repeats the trick next ball to get the tourists moving.

10:18am - Still no boundary for Australia, who have just 13 on the board as Danni Hazell, who has twice started with a maiden in this series, comes on to bowl the sixth over.

10:11am - It's fair to say this is not the start Australia would have had in mind. After three overs they are seven for one, on a pitch that does not appear to be offering a great deal of pace. Brunt and Jenny Gunn have been right on the money.

10:03am - WICKET! Villani lbw Brunt 0; Aus 1/1 - What a nightmare for Elyse Villani. Finally selected for her first outing of the tour, she falls lbw to Katherine Brunt when playing outside the line to one that would have clipped the stumps.

Pre-Play News

9:57am - With a few clouds having made an unwelcome appearance and the stands starting to fill up, here come the players. Australia will be hoping to improve on their batting display in Southampton two days ago.

9:45am - Here are the teams in full:

England: Charlotte Edwards (captain), Heather Knight, Sarah Taylor, Lydia Greenway, Natalie Sciver, Arran Brindle, Danni Wyatt, Jenny Gunn, Katherine Brunt, Danni Hazell, Holly Colvin.

Australia: Alyssa Healy, Elyse Villani, Meg Lanning, Jess Cameron, Jodie Fields (captain), Alex Blackwell, Ellyse Perry, Erin Osborne, Sarah Coyte, Julie Hunter, Holly Ferling.

9:35am - ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND FIELD - Edwards opts to insert Australia. The hosts are unchanged, while Australia replace Rachael Haynes with Elyse Villani.

9:25am - Morning everyone. The Women's Ashes may have already been regained by England, but Charlotte Edwards' side will be determined to finish the series with a win at the Emirates Durham ICG today. Let's see if they can make it five victories in a row.

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