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Bolton's debut ton keeps Australia Women alive

England Women succumbs to 26-run loss in the second Women's Ashes ODI

Bolton's debut ton keeps Australia Women alive - Cricket News
Nicole Bolton scored 124, becoming the first Australian woman to score a century on debut.
Nicole Bolton became the first Australian woman to score a century on One-Day International debut to hand Australia Women its first win of the Women's Ashes series on Thursday (January 23).  
 
Down 0-8 on points in the multi-format Women's Ashes, Australia needed to win to prevent England from retaining the urn and Bolton’s 124 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground ensured just that, as England fell short of Australia's 266 for 7 by 26 runs.
 
Bolton, who replaced Elyse Villani in the playing XI, led Australia’s attack from the start. Of the 39 runs that were added in the first 9.2 overs, Meg Lanning, Bolton’s fellow opener, accounted for only five of them. Once Lanning was bowled by Danielle Hazell, Bolton was joined by Jess Cameron. The two kept Australia’s run rate ticking, and added 95 for the second wicket --  the highest partnership of the match -- to take Australia to 134 for 2 in 31.2 overs. 
 
Hazell caused a slight hiccup when she had Cameron caught by Lydia Greenway six runs short of a half-century. However, Bolton, on route to her century off 133 balls, had no trouble striking another solid partnership, this time with Alex Blackwell. 
 
Scoring at 6.42 per over, Blackwell and Bolton thwarted the England attack to take Australia to 209 by the 43rd over. Although a collapse ensued after Bolton was finally bowled by Natalie Sciver, it mattered little as Australia amassed a daunting 266 in the end. Anya Shrubsole, who helped England to a win in the one-off Test at Perth, turned out to be the most expensive bowler, giving away 61 runs off her nine overs.
 
England suffered an ominous start when Charlotte Edwards, the captain, was bowled by Holly Ferling in the very first ball of the innings. England's chase met another roadblock soon when Greenway was trapped lbw by Ellyse Perry. Heather Knight and Sarah Taylor then hit half-centuries to put England’s chase back on track with an 84-run stand to take it to 97 for 3 in 22.3 overs. 
 
Julie Hunter then picked her first and only wicket of the match to send Knight packing for 55. Although Arran Brindle and Taylor kept England steady for another 10.3 overs, Bolton topped her fantastic debut with the crucial run out of Taylor for 63 to trigger a mini-collapse. England lost three wickets in the next five overs and even Sciver’s quick-fire 42-ball 57 failed to rescue it. 
 
Australia needs to win the final ODI on Sunday and the subsequent three Twenty20 Internationals to regain the wooden ball. 

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