England’s thrilling victory over Australia in second T20 keeps Ashes hopes alive

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Englands thrilling victory over Australia in the second T20 keeps Ashes hopes alive.—Twitter@BBCSport
England’s thrilling victory over Australia in the second T20 keeps Ashes hopes alive.—[email protected]

In a crucial match to keep their Ashes hopes alive, England delivered a thrilling three-run victory over Australia in the must-win second T20 at The Oval. 

Danni Wyatt’s impressive knock of 76 runs from just 46 balls propelled England to a formidable total of 186-9, marking their highest-ever T20 score against the reigning world champions, Australia.

Australia faced the challenging task of scoring an unlikely 20 runs in the final over but fell short with a total of 183-8. Despite Ellyse Perry’s valiant effort of hitting two sixes off the last two balls, the Australian team couldn’t surpass England’s total. With this victory, England now trails 6-2 in the multi-format Ashes series and requires a total of nine points to reclaim the prestigious Ashes trophy.

Playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 20,328 at The Oval in south London, England started their innings positively with an opening partnership of 57 runs between Danni Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley. However, a remarkable bowling performance by Annabel Sutherland, who took 3-28, triggered a middle-order collapse for England, causing them to slip from 100-1 to 119-6. 

This collapse included the dismissal of skipper Heather Knight for a first-ball duck in her 100th T20 international match. Despite the setbacks, Wyatt maintained her aggressive intent and held the team’s innings together, receiving crucial support from Sophie Ecclestone, who contributed a quickfire 22 runs off just 12 balls at the death.

In response, Australia’s openers Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy started aggressively, adding a rapid 59 runs in just 6.2 overs. However, the introduction of England’s spinners turned the tide of the game, causing a middle-order collapse for Australia. Sarah Glenn and Sophie Ecclestone took two wickets each, while Charlie Dean, in her first appearance of the series, also claimed a wicket. Despite a late fightback led by Ellyse Perry, with cameos from Georgia Wareham and Annabel Sutherland, England’s bowlers, especially Sophie Ecclestone, remained composed and secured the victory.

The third and final T20 match of the series is scheduled to take place at Lord’s on Saturday at 18:35 BST. England will be aiming to carry the momentum from their recent win and push for a 2-1 series victory against Australia.

Reflecting on the victory, England captain Heather Knight expressed the importance of overcoming a psychological hurdle, praising her team’s positive mindset and resilience after two closely contested losses. Danni Wyatt, who played a pivotal role in the match, highlighted the significance of the win against Australia and acknowledged the need for continuous improvement as the series progresses.

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