The Women’s ashes series began on the 16th October, with England travelled to Australia to begin their campaign. The first test match took place in Brisbane, however, there was no result due to rain. The England team that flew out to Australia comprising of; Heather Knight (capt, Berkshire), Tammy Beaumont (Kent), Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire), Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire), Georgia Elwiss (Sussex), Jenny Gunn (Warwickshire), Alex Hartley (Lancashire), Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire), Laura Marsh (Kent), Nat Sciver (Surrey), Anya Shrubsole (Somerset), Sarah Taylor (wk, Sussex), Fran Wilson (Middlesex), Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire), Danni Wyatt (Sussex) are a talented group of players, captained by Cardiff alumni, Heather Knight.
The Women’s ashes are decided by all formats of cricket. The winning team earns four points and two points for a draw, with two points for a win in a limited-over game. The current holders of the Ashes are Australia who have to earn eight point to retain them. The second test, still held in Brisbane, on the 18th October was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain. The third test, being the first One Day International (ODI), Australia took the victory by two wickets, leading the series 2-0. The fourth test, the second ODI, took place on the 26th October in Coffs Harbour, Australia again taking the victory by 75 runs using the Duckworth-Lewis method, a mathematical formula designed to calculate the target score needed to win a game of limited overs cricket. It is generally accepted to be the most accurate method of score formulation.
The fifth test took place on the 29th October, the third ODI, with England winning a victory of 20 runs, through the DLS method. England gained two points, however, Australia still lead the series 4-2. In the victory against Australia, England posted their highest total against Australia, a score of 284-8. This was thanks to Heather Knights’ 88 runs off 80 balls coupled with Tammy Beaumounts’ 74 and Sarah Taylors’ 69. Taylor, post victory, stated, “”We had to put a good target on the board. Australia did get away with the bat but that rain break gave us a chance to regroup. I’m really proud of the way the bowlers bowled; those middle overs were key. We don’t get to play Tests that often, but we’ve put a lot of preparation into playing with the pink ball, so it’s exciting.” Even Australian batsman Alyssa Healy had some praise for the way the England girls played the game, “They bowled really well in the middle, got wickets and shut the game down. It was up to one of me or Nicole to guard the run-chase – but we got ourselves out.”
The next test is the inaugural Women’s Day-Night Test Match. If England can record a victory here, they will gain four points and thus lead the series into the three T20 matches.