England have retained the Women’s Ashes after winning the first Twenty20 international against Australia in Hobart.
Charlotte Edwards’ side have taken an unassailable lead in the series after beating Australia by 9 wickets at the Blundstone Arena, taking them to ten points thanks to a win in the Test match in Perth and the first ODI in Melbourne.
Edwards, hit an unbeaten 92 to lead England to their target of 151/1, and she was helped by former MCC Young Cricketer Sarah Taylor, who made an unbeaten 50. Batting second after Australia reached 150/3, England chased down the score impeccably, winning with thirteen balls to spare.
Every player in the squad has played their part out there
England’s win in the first Twenty20 means they cannot be overtaken by the hosts, and therefore retain the Ashes with two games to play.
“I am absolutely ecstatic! I am so proud of all the girls – every player in the squad has played their part out there," said captain Edwards, who sits on the MCC World Cricket committee.
Edwards is now the first Women's captain to win the Ashes twice away from home.
She added: "Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last six months – the team has been overwhelmed by the level of encouragement that we have received.
"Having personally played international cricket for England for over sixteen years now, the volume of media coverage has been unprecedented, and I hope that our back-to-back Ashes victories will inspire more women and girls to play the game.”
England Women’s Head of Performance, Paul Shaw said: “I am absolutely delighted with the result today. The unity and hard work displayed by every single member of this England Women’s squad has been second to none since the moment we touched down in Australia on New Year’s Eve.
“Conditions have not been easy – in particular the Test match in Perth was a big challenge across all four days, and the two close defeats in the ODIs were tough to deal with – but the players have demonstrated a remarkable hunger to succeed.”
“Winning the Ashes on home soil last summer was a huge achievement for everyone involved; winning them in Australia less than six months later is even bigger and feels even better.”
The teams will play the remaining two t20 internationals, which are also double-headers with the men’s series, with games at the MCG, Melbourne on Friday 31 January and at the Stadium Australia, Sydney on Sunday 2 February.
The multi-format Women’s Ashes is being played for just the second time – England triumphed 12-4 on home soil last summer – and consists of one Test, three One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.