Greenway takes England home

Lydia Greenway

Lydia Greenway hangs on to a fine catch on the boundary to dismiss the dangerous Shelley Nitschke for 17

Lydia Greenway continued to prove she is a cricketer of real substance by leading England to a thrilling four-wicket victory in the first Twenty20 at the Adelaide Oval.

Keeping a cool head as others lost theirs, the Kent left-hander cracked an assured 39 not out from just 27 balls as England chased 141 to begin the five-match series in perfect fashion.

With the innings well poised at 59 for three in the ninth over, Greenway joined forces with Susie Rowe and put on 47 in just six overs - a partnership which ultimately saw England home.

There were frayed nerves when England lost three quick wickets but Greenway remained unmoved to complete victory with 10 balls remaining.

The chase began in specatular fashion when captain Charlotte Edwards spanked Ellyse Perry's first two deliveries to the rope.

Edwards then dabbed a third boundary off Rene Farrell but her entertaining cameo at the top of the innings, worth 16, came to a halt in rather ugly fashion.

Abandoning the classical shots that had served her well, Edwards' reverse sweep off Shelley Nitschke picked out Meg Lanning at cover.

Laura Marsh and new batsman Danielle Wyatt continued to take the fight to the Australia bowlers as England raced along to 50 for one after six overs.

Marsh, in particular, impressed with her timing, although both used their feet to get to the pitch of the ball.

Wyatt, buoyed by a decent knock in the final one-dayer at Perth on Sunday, twice danced down the wicket to drive Farrell to the cover boundary.

But England suffered a double setback when Marsh, aiming to send Lisa Sthalekar's first ball towards the grassy bank by the famous scoreboard, scooped straight to mid-on to conclude her run-a-ball innings of 23.

Wyatt followed in the next over, the ninth, stumped by Alyssa Healy for 16 off Sarah Coyte's medium pace to leave the score 59 for three.

Lydia Greenway

Greenway reverse sweeps during her quickfire innings of 39 which helped England complete a four-wicket win

With the chase chase well poised, Greenway gave England a shot in the arm with contrasting boundaries, the first an inventive reverse sweep in the 12th over off Sthalekar.

She trumped that when a wonderful pick-up in the next over off Perry which sailed over square-leg for the first six of the game.

Rowe, who grew in confidence, matched Greenway by sweeping Sthalekar for another maximum which cleared the rope at midwicket as England took the initiative.

But, with the partnership on 47, England lost three quick wickets with Perry pinning Rowe in front, Heather Knight holing out to midwicket and Fran Wilson bowled first ball.

But Greenway and Hazell did not flinch to hand England the advantage before the teams meet in Melbourne on Friday.

Earlier in the day, under gloomy skies which would later give way to patchy sunshine, England leaked 14 runs from the first seven balls they bowled as Nitschke and Lanning went on the attack.

Isa Guha conceded 10 from an opening over made worse when she spilled a straightforward return catch off the dangerous Lanning, who stroked a wonderful century in the second one-dayer at Perth last week.

Fortunately for the tourists, Marsh ensured it was not a costly drop by deceiving the 18-year-old in the second over with a looping off-break which castled the young talent to leave the score 16 for one.

England's lacklustre performance in the field continued in the fourth over when Edwards put down a powerful pull by Leah Poulton. Marsh's despairing look said it all.

Poulton rubbed salt in the wound in Marsh's next over by strolling down the wicket and driving powerfully towards the scoreboard, which read 45 for one.

Holly Colvin

Holly Colvin celebrates her caught and bowled, which dismissed Leah Poulton and left Australia 63 for three

With Australia rattling along at almost eight an over, England made a much-needed breakthrough at the start of the seventh over.

Holly Colvin, bowling her first delivery, sent down a floating full toss which Nitschke swatted towards deep midwicket, where Greenway good ground before sliding on her knees to take a fine catch.

Left-armer Colvin struck again in her next over, the 11th, and it was a wicket all of her own making, leaping to take a stunning one-handed caught-and-bowled to dismiss Poulton for 26.

Sthalekar joined captain Alex Blackwell with their side teetering on 63 for three and the pair, adopting an aggressive approach, brought the flagging innings back to life with a series of daring strokes.

Sthalekar mixed some effective swipes into the leg side with deft deflections to dominate the 58-run partnership as Australia powered past the 100 mark.

Blackwell was no slouch and she perished for a quickfire 35 with two overs left attempting an ambitious second run to Wyatt, who galloped in from fine-leg and sent in a bullet throw which beat the captain's desperate dive.

Wyatt then claimed her first wicket when Sthalekar, on 38, shovelled a short ball straight down Colvin's throat at short fine-leg.