Australia stay alive in women’s Ashes

The star of Australia’s critical 26-run win over England in the second one-day international believes the victory has been the momentum change the Southern Stars need to regain the women’s Ashes.

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After losing their past seven encounters, Australia were on the brink of another series defeat before Thursday’s victory at the MCG.

Nicole Bolton scored a century, becoming the first Australian woman to make a ton on debut in the one-day format, and she grabbed the crucial wicket of Sarah Taylor (63) when she ran the English star out with a direct throw. The run-out was the pivotal moment of the contest.

“Sarah Taylor was really going, and I do think it was the turning point, so it was pretty special,” she said after the game.

Bolton’s 124 helped the Australians to post a challenging total of 7-266.

The English fell 26 runs short after they making a dreadful start when captain Charlotte Edwards was bowled by Holly Ferling with the first ball of the innings. Taylor and Heather Knight had threatened to overcome the poor start with a partnership of 95, before Bolton’s accurate strike.

The victory keeps the battle for the women’s Ashes alive, but Australia still face a daunting task, needing to win all four remaining matches in the multi-format series which awards points for victories in Test matches, ODIs and Twenty20 matches.

“That was a really gutsy effort from us today. It was getting very close,” said Bolton. “We have come close to winning the last two games. Today, I think, will kick start us for the rest of the series.”

Despite beginning just one loss away from conceding the series, Taylor said the perilous position actually gave the Australians freedom to play.

“We will just enjoy the moment today and then reassess. We will look forward to Hobart. I really believe this win is just something that we’ll build on for the rest of the games. We want to put a bit of worry into England and I think we have done that today.”

Despite the defeat, England lead the series eight points to two, with the remaining one-day international in Hobart on Sunday and three Twenty20 games to be played.

English batter Heather Knight said the team were disappointed with the loss and the missed opportunity to settle the Ashes contest but would regroup before travelling to Hobart.

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