— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 26, 2014
By Rob Barnett
Jenny Gunn believes today’s one-day international with Australia at Hobart could easily have gone England’s way.
The hosts snuck a four-wicket win with just three balls to spare to reduce the arrears in the multi-format Women's Ashes series to 8-4 ahead of the three Twenty20 internationals, which are worth two points each to the victors.
Ellyse Perry’s unbeaten 90 - her highest international score - saw the tourists’ 268 for four overhauled, despite three scalps and a run-out from Gunn.
The seamer took two of three wickets to fall in six mid-innings overs that left Australia needing 70 from the last eight. Perry and Erin Osborne, who hit a 25-ball 40, responded emphatically with an unbroken alliance.
“It was a real close game so, take nothing away from them - they’ve played really well, but the girls fought really hard and it was going either way at the time,” Gunn told ecb.co.uk.
Gunn, today playing in her 118th ODI, said England had discussed how to oust all-rounder Perry.
“We had plans today. It just didn’t come off for us,” she added.
“We had a couple of run-out opportunities - we didn’t take them - and another close one which on TV might have gone our way. It’s just one of those days. It’s just cricket. It went Australia’s way and not ours.”
Gunn and spinner Danni Hazell, whose 10 overs cost just 25, combined to contain the hosts on a pitch that allowed little margin for bowling error.
“The wicket was amazing today. It was one of those where you have to hit the perfect length otherwise it’s quite easy to score,” Gunn said.
“I think me and Haze had a good partnership in the middle, dragged it back a little bit but it just wasn’t enough in the end.”
England’s total was built on solid contributions from their top six, notably Heather Knight’s 57 and Sarah Taylor’s 64 from 57 deliveries.
“We thought we put a good enough score on the board, maybe a couple short with the start we had and partnerships,” Gunn reflected.
“But we knew we were going to be in a fight. They were on home soil and had nothing to losing, being 8-2 down, so they came out fighting.”