On Wednesday, England kept the struggle for the Ashes alive by pulling off a record run chase to earn an exhilarating two-wicket victory against Australia in the first one-day international. England’s skipper Heather Knight led from the front as they kept the war for the Ashes alive.
Knight struck an unbeaten 75 from only 86 deliveries to help England chase down Australia’s substantial total of 263/8 with 11 deliveries left in Bristol. This helped England tie the multi-format Ashes series at 6-6 with two one-day internationals still to play.
It was England’s greatest run chase in women’s ODI cricket – far exceeding the 245 they achieved to defeat New Zealand in Derby in 2021 – and it was the first time since February 2017 that Australia’s women’s side had lost three matches in a row in any format. England’s run chase was the highest in women’s ODI cricket.
It also indicates that the fight for the Ashes will continue, as the series will continue to Southampton for the decisive second one-day international on Sunday, with the possible series decider slated to take place in Taunton on July 18.
The Ashes can be won back by Australia if they win only one of their remaining two matches, but England has won their last three games in a row (two Twenty20 Internationals and the first One-Day International) and will be feeling very confident as a result of their record run chase. Australia just has to win one of their remaining two matches to win the Ashes.
Knight controlled England’s pursuit with elegance, with the captain hitting six boundaries and one six in a vital knock. Knight also combined effectively with Nat Sciver-Brunt (31) and Danni Wyatt (14) during the middle overs, and then with Kate Cross (19) at the death to ensure that the hosts were victorious.
A solid 81 from the reliable Beth Mooney had helped Australia build a decent total earlier in the day, but it turned out that it was not enough as the heroics from Knight guaranteed that the fight for the Ashes continued.