LONDON: Through the most daring of hands, Danni Wyatt has steered England to the least likely of victories, the visitors ending their Women’s Ashes campaign by knocking off the highest successful run chase in the history of women’s Twenty20 Internationals. In turn, Heather Knight’s side now fly home having levelled the overall series on eight points each.
After England lost three wickets in five overs to begin their response to the hosts’ 178-2, they looked to have given away any realistic chance. The game had a familiar feeling about it: the required run rate would skyrocket as wickets kept falling. It had all the symptoms.
Chances are it would have followed accordingly if not for Australia’s utter incompetence in the field. Instead, Wyatt and Knight survived four lives to mount a 139-run partnership in only 75 balls, taking the visitors to the verge of a triumph that was eventually secured with six balls to spare.
Earlier, Beth Mooney stitched together the second highest score in all women’s T20s, stroking a faultless 117 not out in 70 balls, including 17 boundaries and one six. At the halfway mark the game looked over before the players had returned from the interval, such was the dominance of Mooney’s innings that ran throughout Australia’s 20 overs.
Sometimes the wagon wheel says it all. Mooney lapped, scooped, swept and pulled through the legside. When driving through the off-side, she did so both conventionally and inside-out with equal ease. Four boundaries in the final four balls was the cream on the cake.
But somehow, on this night, it would not be enough. If looking for team-mates to blame, the opener need look no further than Alyssa Healy. The wicketkeeper, who has had a fine series, dropped both Wyatt and Knight to the most straightforward skied chances. Megan Schutt and Molly Strano dropped catches off Knight that were just as bad.
“It was a really special night,” Knight, who made 51, said after play. “I was perfectly happy to play second fiddle to Wyatt. With some of those shots I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. To finish the job, I am really proud of the girls. We are really disappointed about letting the Ashes slip away, but we came away with some pride and finished strongly.”
What an amazing win!
They’ve won the IT20 series and tied the multi-format series at 8-8 apiece.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) November 21, 2017