Greenway stars in MCG thriller

England took a commanding 2-0 lead in the Twenty20 series with an enthralling five-wicket victory over Australia, completed with just two balls remaining at the MCG.

Chasing 100 to win after rain reduced the match to 16 overs a side, Lydia Greenway was once again the star of the show with an assured run-a-ball 30 - her second match-winning unbeaten knock in 48 hours.

The fit-again Jenny Gunn weighed in with a vital 19 in the dying overs while Danielle Wyatt's enterprising 18 from 14 balls earlier in the innings proved just as crucial.

England women

Danielle Hazell celebrates with Jenny Gunn after they combined to dismiss Meg Lanning in the second Twenty20 encounter today

England's passage was fraught at times which began when Laura Marsh fell to a diving catch in the covers by Alex Blackwell off Rene Farrell's bowling.

That brought Wyatt to the crease who struck consecutive boundaries off Ellyse Perry, the second a classical off drive, as England cruised to 30 for one after four overs.

Rotating the strike with some clever dabs, Wyatt and captain Charlotte Edwards added nine more before a double strike left England reeling.

First Wyatt was bowled attempting an ungainly heave off Lisa Sthalekar before Edwards perished to the same bowler, who needed to dive to scoop up a leading edge.

England's success yet again fell on the shoulders of the in-form Greenway.

After losing Susie Rowe, who holed out to Perry off Sthalekar to give the bowler her third wicket, Greenway and Gunn swiped and scampered valiantly as the run-rate began to escalate to eight an over.

But keeping a calm head despite boundaries being at a premium due to the monstrous playing area, the pair gleaned 11 runs from Rachael Haynes' solitary over to make it 13 needed from two overs.

Gunn then leg-glanced Farrell's first ball of the penultimate over for three and further frantic running left England requiring three runs from the last over.

Gunn fell with one needed, which left Heather Knight to hit the winning run.

Jenny Gunn

Gunn hits through the leg side during her quickfire innings of 19, which helped England to a tense five-wicket victory

Greenway said: “I just tried to keep calm and concentrate on what we had to do. It’s great to be in form and playing well and fantastic to win at such an impressive ground.

“We missed a few in the field today. All the girls have the skill; I think it must just have been nerves.

“It’s a massive statement to come out and back up Wednesday’s performance so we’ll be looking to carry this momentum forwards to Canberra.”

Earlier in the day England made just one change with Gunn, fit after a recovering from a quad muscle injury, replacing Fran Wilson.

On a surprisingly sunny afternoon considering the terrible weather earlier in the day, Edwards won the toss and elected to field first at the vast MCG.

If the weather had improved, England's indifferent fielding certainly had not with the tourists left to rue a handful of missed opportunities.

After dismissing Meg Lanning for 10, well caught in the fifth over by Gunn at long-on off Danielle Hazell, England conspired to drop new batsman Leah Poulton three times in successive balls.

The normally reliable Gunn was the first guilty party, then Marsh, with Rowe the last of the butter-fingered trio to see the ball land on the immaculately manicured turf.

Fortunately the epidemic did not spread to Knight, who held on to a meaty drive at long-off from Shelley Nitschke to give Holly Colvin her only wicket.

A sensational caught-and-bowled by Gunn in the 13th over, one-handed to snatch a fizzing drive, finally brought an end to Poulton's charmed stay.