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Shootings Stars shine in T20s against England Academy Women

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The Australian Shooting Stars posted wins in both of their Twenty20 encounters against the England Academy Women at the ICC Academy to bring an end to the series here at the Home of Elite Cricket.

The results bring about the end of the tour that saw four one-day matches played in addition to the two games mentioned above. After the one-day leg of the tour had ended in a draw, both teams were raring to go in an attempt to gain the upper hand in the shorter format of the game.

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The first Twenty20 took place on the evening of Saturday, the 11th of April. Batting first, the English began brightly, with good scores from Tamsin Beaumont (42) and Georgia Elwiss (43), who’d excelled in the one-dayers.

But the rest of the English batting order couldn’t maintain that pace, and they only managed to put together another 45 runs for the loss of seven wickets to post a total of 130 in their 20 overs.

The Australian response was swift. Delissa Kimmince began the innings with a quickfire 40 as Elyse Villani added another 44.

With things at this stage seemingly parallel to the manner in which England found themselves after the loss of their first two wickets, the Australians could’ve gone the same way. Instead, Beth Mooney picked up where her openers had left off and her composed 42 saw the Shooting Stars cross the finish line with ease, as they won the first T20 by eight wickets.

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England knew they needed to post an immediate response if they were to go back home with a share of the spoils and decided to take a different tack in the second Twenty20.

They’d opted to bat every time they’d called the right side of the coin, but chose to field first on Sunday, the 12th of April, the day of the second match.

It was a move that paid early dividends: Mooney departed for 10 and Grace Harris was soon walking off the pitch as well having scored just five runs, but a characteristic of this Shooting Stars side is for players to equally share the responsibilities of the game, and that was what saw them right the innings after the two early wickets had fallen.

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 Ashleigh Gardner (47) and Villani (54) brought the women from Down Under back on track before Kimmince added another 34 to give them a very impressive total of 170 in their 20 overs.

The England response began well, with Beaumont (41) and Fran Wilson (38) beginning brightly after Elwiss had departed early for 11, and a further 31 runs from Natalie Sciver gave them hope of victory.

But the Australian bowlers inflicted some serious damage on the English middle-order when runs were most required as the latter lost four wickets for just 28 runs.

In the end, they fell short of just 10 runs. On another day, victory would’ve surely been theirs.

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