A brilliant all-round performance from Tahlia McGrath helped Australia in registering a commanding nine-wicket win against England in the first T20I of the multi-format Women’s Ashes in Adelaide on Thursday.
Australia won the toss and chose to field first but England came out all guns blazing as their openers Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt put on an opening stand of 82 runs. Even though their partnership was broken by debutant Allana King, who took a brilliant catch off her own bowling in the 11th over of the innings, Wyatt carried on and kept punishing the Australian bowlers.
The visitors looked set for a total close to 200 but McGrath came up with a brilliant spell in the death overs as she dismissed both Nat Sciver and Wyatt in the 17th over. Wyatt was looking dangerous but she had to depart for a magnificent knock of 70 off just 54 deliveries after getting completely castled by McGrath.
Amy Jones also fell prey to McGrath's bowling in the 19th over, which derailed England's innings further. McGrath finished with excellent figures of 4-0-26-3 even though most of the other Australian bowlers were taken for runs. England managed a total of 169/4 in the end, which was still a challenging one for the hosts.
Target set 🎯— ICC (@ICC) January 20, 2022
Australia will need to chase down a score of 170 in 20 overs.
Will they succeed in their effort?
Watch the Women's #Ashes LIVE on https://t.co/WngPr0NZRh (in select regions) 📺 pic.twitter.com/nAIZ2TTkzq
England also got an early breakthrough in the form of Alyssa Healy, as she departed in the fifth over for seven off Sophie Ecclestone's bowling. But Australia made a complete mockery of the chase once McGrath joined Meg Lanning in the middle.
Riding high on the confidence from her superb bowling effort, the 26-year-old started batting in an aggressive manner and sustained that aggression throughout the innings. England tried everything possible to stop her, but McGrath just bulldozed her way through them. Lanning kept playing the second fiddle, providing her much-needed assurance from the other end.
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The England bowlers had no answer to the assault launched by the duo. Even an experienced player like Sciver conceded 31 runs at an economy rate of over 10 in her three overs. Skipper Heather Knight bowled only one over and conceded 17 runs in that. The 22-year-old Sarah Glenn was taken for 39 runs in her three overs as well.
What a victory 🔥— ICC (@ICC) January 20, 2022
Australia chase down the target of 170 with nine wickets in hand and three overs remaining to go 1-0 up in the Women's #Ashes multi-format series 👏
Tahlia McGrath top scores with an unbeaten 91!
📝: https://t.co/1eSjakmetJ pic.twitter.com/9kmW79mEWu
England's misery ended in the 17th over of the innings as Australia finally chased the target down with nine wickets to spare, thus going 1-0 up in the series. McGrath remained unbeaten on 91 off just 49 deliveries while Lanning played 44 deliveries for her 64. McGrath was also named as the Player of the Match for her superb all-round performance.
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