All square after opening rounds between England and Australia Women
The ICC Academy has been home to the England Academy Women’s and the Australia Shooting Stars teams since the end of March.
With both teams scheduled to stay here for about two weeks, the Home of Elite Cricket was to be the staging ground of a one-day series between the two women’s outfits.
With a sandstorm disrupting the scheduled match on the second of April, the two teams, who’ve always been traditional sporting rivals, faced off in a rescheduled encounter on the 3rd of the month.
Batting first, the English women posted a handsome 252 from their allotted 50 overs, with Georgia Elwiss completing a magnificent 100 that featured 15 fours and two sixes off just 80 deliveries.
She was provided excellent support by Fran Wilson, whose 61-ball 57 was studded with nine boundaries, while a fruitful 30 from Natasha Farrant in the lower order added some late fireworks to the encounter.
The Australians though proved more than capable on the day, easing past that score with four wickets and seven balls to spare.
The majority of the runs for the Shooting Stars came from Katie Mack, whose composed 80 runs was ably supported by Ashleigh Gardner (44) and Nicola Carey (45*), who was on the pitch when the winning runs were struck.
Keen to even the odds when the two teams met again a day later, it was once again the English who batted first, making an improved score of 268 this time around.
Fifties from Tammy Beaumont, Evelyn Jones and Fran Wilson set up the Englishwomen well, before Georgia Elwiss delivered another classy knock in the centre of the park with a polished 65 that featured nine boundaries off just 42 deliveries.
Those extra runs proved to be the difference between victory and defeat for the team from England.
The Australian response began well, with a standout 75 from Grace Harris and a further 47 from Katie Mack in the top order, but wickets had fallen continually and effectively interrupted the Shooting Stars’ run chase, with Beth Mooney (4), Ashleigh Gardner (5), Megan Banting (10), Amanda Jade-Wellington (0) and Nicola Hancock (9) all departing for scores of ten or less.
England’s win saw them level the series 1-1, which puts a lot more emphasis on their matches ahead. The series between the England Academy Women and the Australia Shooting Stars features four one-day matches and two Twenty20s.