Heading into the final Twenty20 International of the Women's Ashes contest between England and Australia, there was plenty at stake for the hosts who were desperate to snap their losing streak. Australia, on the other hand, looked to continue their dominance and end their tour on the ultimate high having already retained the Ashes. However, their chances of a 3-0 sweep were halted after a disciplined bowling performance from Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone and Mady Villiers helped England withstand yet another fifty from Ellyse Perry and win the final Twenty20 International by 17 runs. Australia retained the Ashes with a 12-4 scoreline but the hosts ended the series on a high.
Australia chose to bowl against England but the hosts got off to an aggressive start with Danielle Wyatt scoring quickly. However, England lost Tammy Beaumont to Jess Jonassen but Heather Knight continued the good work. Although England lost Natalie Sciver, they continued to find the boundary on a regular basis. Laura Winfield and Katherine Brunt found the boundary on a regular basis to help England reach 139/5. In response, Allysa Healy began aggressively and continued her good run but Australia lost Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning in succession.
Healy's departure saw a flood of wickets with the middle order folding up against the spin of Ecclestone and Villiers. No batter reached double figures with only Ellyse Perry keeping the fight going for Australia. The Australian all-rounder, who recently became the first individual in Twenty20 cricket to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in this format, blasted a six and a four off Villiers. Perry went past her fifty and smashed yet another six off Jonassen but two wickets in the same over killed the contest and Australia ended up losing the match by 17 runs.
Speaking after the match, Australia skipper Meg Lanning was disappointed with the loss but praised the side for the dominance shown. "Very proud of the group as to how we've performed throughout the series, when the series was on the line were able to perform at our best, which is nice." England skipper Heather Knight said it was nice to get a consolation win.
Also Read | Cricketer suffers flu, nausea in Women’s Big Bash League final but still helps the side to the title
"They've outplayed us, they've won the key moments in the start of that series and then the momentum in the series was very hard to change. I'm really proud of how the girls stuck together," Knight remarked.
Also Read | Five runs needed off one ball – See this dramatic finish in Women’s Big Bash League
With Australia's women retaining the Ashes, the onus will be on the men's team to emulate their feat as Australia aim to break an 18-year jinx in England.