Captain stars with an unbeaten 59-ball 92 as England retain Women's Ashes with a nine-wicket win over Australia in first T20I
Edwards’ unbeaten 59-ball 92 was England’s highest score in the format, bettering Lydia Greenway’s unbeaten 80 that secured them the Ashes last year. England now have an unassailable 10-4 lead in the multi-format Ashes. England won the solitary Test and Australia then triumphed by a 2-1 margin in the One-Day Internationals.
Chasing 151, Edwards was ably supported by Sarah Taylor as England reached the target with in just 17.5 overs. The duo’s unbroken 114-run stand was a perfect mix of caution and aggression.
Despite losing Danielle Wyatt cheaply to Jess Jonassen, Edwards got England’s chase off to a flying start with a flurry of boundaries and brought up her half-century off 33 balls. Edwards then lifted the tempo, even hitting Jess Cameron for a six in the 13th over. Taylor contributed an unbeaten 50 from 37 deliveries.
Earlier Elyse Villani, the Australia captain, opted to bat first after winning the toss but her stay at the crease was brief, as she was trapped lbw by Danielle Hazell for 4 in the first over. Alex Blackwell, the other opener, who had three consecutive half-centuries in the ODIs, had her innings cut short after a terrible mix-up with Meg Lanning resulted in her being run out for 21.
Lanning’s quick-fire unbeaten 78 off 54 balls then helped Australia recover, guiding them to a respectable total of 150 for 3. Wyatt dismissed Cameron (16), but Lanning and Elyse Perry (29 off 23 balls) added 67 runs giving the bowlers a good total to defend, helped by the fact that England were fielding an inexperienced attack after losing their key bowlers, Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole, to injury.
Australia, who won the second and third ODI to keep the series alive, will now be playing for pride in the remaining two T20Is.