Updated: Aug 11
Ash Gardner's exceptional performance in leading Australia's four-pronged spin attack resulted in a thrilling final ball victory against England in the second one-day international (ODI) between the two teams. This triumph at The Rose Bowl ensured that Australia retained the Ashes, with one ODI remaining in the series.
As part of the spin quartet, which included Jess Jonassen, Alana King, and Georgia Wareham, Gardner made an impact by opening the bowling and claiming three crucial wickets. Despite a strong start from England's Tammy Beaumont, who scored 60 runs from 62 deliveries, Gardner's breakthrough came in the middle overs. With the spin duo of Wareham and King dismissing the openers and captain Heather Knight, Gardner claimed her first wicket in the 29th over by dismissing Dani Wyatt.
Gardner's influence continued to grow as she swung the momentum in Australia's favor with two quick wickets in the latter stages of the chase. After dismissing Amy Jones, caught by Megan Schutt, and then removing Sophie Ecclestone leg-before-wicket, England found themselves struggling at 7-203, needing 81 runs with 12 overs remaining.
Despite a resilient partnership between unbeaten centurion Nat Sciver-Brunt and wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones, England fell short of the target by three runs. Australia showcased their composure to secure the victory and retain the Ashes.
In addition to her remarkable bowling performance, Gardner also played a crucial role with the bat. She contributed 33 runs in a partnership with top-scorer Ellyse Perry, stabilizing the Australian innings and setting the stage for a competitive total.
Having secured the Ashes, Australia now aims to clinch the multi-format series outright with a victory in the final ODI at Somerset's Country Ground in Taunton. The team's confidence is riding high, and they will look to carry their momentum into the decisive match.
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Photo Courtesy National Indigenous Times
Courtesy National Indigenous Times