Facing a daunting target, Australia required an improbable 20 runs from the final over to secure victory. However, they fell short, managing only 183-8 despite Ellyse Perry’s valiant effort, which included two sixes off the last two balls. With the series standing at 6-2 in favor of Australia in the multi-format format, England needs to accumulate nine points in total to reclaim the Ashes.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of 20,328 at The Oval in south London, England made a positive start with an opening partnership of 57 runs between Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley. However, Annabel Sutherland’s impressive figures of 3-28 triggered a middle-order collapse.
England went from 100-1 to 119-6, with skipper Heather Knight suffering the ignominy of a first-ball duck on her 100th T20 international appearance. Wyatt remained undeterred, displaying aggressive intent and anchoring England’s innings. Sophie Ecclestone played a crucial role with a quickfire 22 runs off just 12 balls towards the end of the innings.
In response, Australia’s openers, Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy, launched a blistering attack on England’s seamers, amassing a rapid 59 runs in a mere 6.2 overs. However, the introduction of spinners halted Australia’s momentum.
The middle-order collapsed, losing four wickets for just 16 runs. Sarah Glenn and Sophie Ecclestone claimed two wickets each, while Charlie Dean, making her first appearance in the series, grabbed one wicket. Despite valiant contributions from Perry, Georgia Wareham, and Sutherland, Australia fell agonizingly short.
Wyatt’s heroics, including a destructive 25-run assault in the 16th over bowled by Megan Schutt, salvaged England’s innings after the flurry of wickets. England’s vulnerability to losing wickets in clusters, particularly with numbers four to seven contributing a mere nine runs, will be a concern for Knight. However, Ecclestone’s late surge, which included the only six of the innings, provided a much-needed boost.
Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney capitalized on the quick pitch at The Oval, capitalizing on England’s errant line and length. However, England’s spinners, particularly Sarah Glenn and the ever-reliable Sophie Ecclestone, curbed the run rate. Georgia Wareham’s brief cameo of 19 runs from 11 balls momentarily revived Australian hopes.
England still faces an uphill battle, as they cannot afford another defeat in the remaining four games. Nonetheless, they have managed to land a significant blow on the world’s top-ranked team, injecting renewed hope into their Ashes campaign.