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Summary

  1. England win with 4.2 overs to spare
  2. Sciver 66, Greenway 53
  3. Aus 238-9: Perry 78, Blackwell 58
  4. Brunt 3-48; four run-outs
  5. England 2pts; Aus 0pts

Live Reporting

By Mark Mitchener

All times stated are UK

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bbc-coverageBBC coverage

That's about it from us - but if you've got Ashes Fever and can't wait until Thursday for the next game, tune in to B BC Radio 5 live tonight from 20:30 BST when there's a Women's Ashes Special presented by Alison Mitchell, looking back on today's game.

We'll be back on Thursday morning from about 10:00 BST for the second match in the series. And we'll expect you to be there too, ship-shape and Bristol fashion. Bye for now.

First blow to England in #WomensAshes, highlights being Brunt’s rocket arm, smashing stumps run outs and great running by Sciver & Greenway.

Review of the day

Katherine Brunt led from the front for England, making early breakthroughs with the new ball - and while Ellyse Perry (78) and Alex Blackwell (58) threatened to post a big score for the Southern Stars, some excellent fielding - including those four run-outs - pegged the tourists back.

Aussie hopes were high after they removed England's top three of Edwards, Knight and Taylor - but it was another middle-order stand, this time by Lydia Greenway (53) and Natalie Sciver (66) which proved decisive.

England take two points towards the multi-format Women's Ashes, and also pick up some much-needed ICC Women's Championship points as they head up the M5 to Bristol for the next ODI on Thursday.

Fielding makes the difference?

An age-old cricketing aphorism is that "catches win matches". A more modern observation is that direct hits often bring run-outs - and I'd wager those four run-outs in the Australian innings, three of them from direct hits, made a huge difference to their innings.

Alison Mitchell

BBC Test Match Special

The crowd aren't really leaving, they're waiting with their autograph books and '4' signs for the England players. I remember in 2005 and 2009 when there weren't really enough journalists at the games to even warrant a press conference, so it's a good sign.

Player of the match

England all-rounder Natalie Sciver, who made 66: "It was tough at the start, Australia were bowling really well and we had to rebuild the innings. It was up to me and Lyd to stick to our strengths. [On nearly being run out] I was saying to the umpire I was very stupid - I will run my bat in, in future! It would have been nice to be there at the end but it was good that Georgia and Katherine could finish it for us."

Natalie Sciver
Getty Images

Captain's view

England captain Charlotte Edwards:  "We talked about starting the series well, we haven't always done that in the past but we started brilliantly with the ball and our fielding was outstanding at times. The partnership between Greenway and Sciver was brilliant and the chance for Georgia Elwiss to come in at the end was great. Hopefully everyone will come to Bristol and cheer us on again."

Captain's view

Australia captain Meg Lanning:  "We would have loved to start off with a win, but England played well and hopefully we can bounce back in Bristol. The start probably cost us, Ellyse and Alex got us back into it but if we'd had 30 or 40 more runs it might have been our day. The people here really got behind England, it's great to play in front of big crowds and hopefully that will continue."

Players gathered in front of the Andy Caddick Pavilion for the presentation...

Ebony Rainford-Brent

Ex-England batter on BBC Test Match Special

Kristen Beams came in new to this environment, and wasn't landing as many as she'd like, and there were times when they should have gone back to Perry. Holly Ferling bowled some brilliant bouncers but also a few wides - and I think the four run-outs killed Australia as another 20 runs might have meant a different match.

Ebony Rainford-Brent

Ex-England batter on BBC Test Match Special

Katherine Brunt and I have been friends for years when we've been injured and not able to work - but you could see today her bowling was back in the early 70 [mphs] where she wants to be, and you can see her pushing up towards 75.

Ebony Rainford-Brent

Ex-England batter on BBC Test Match Special

Players like Nat Sciver have broken onto the scene - she played a really intelligent innings with Lydia Greenway. People say 'what about the others if Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor don't fire', but they did it today. Charlotte will be really pleased with the performance - Grundy bowled OK, Cross made early breakthroughs and there are some real positives.

So, not entirely straightforward, but England draw first blood in an Ashes series. Their followers will hope they can build on this Taunton victory better than the men did after Cardiff...

England will take heart from the performance of their middle-order. So often reliant on Edwards & Taylor - not the case today. #womensAshes

Alison Mitchell

BBC Test Match Special

A brilliant partnership between Greenway and Sciver to get England back in the game.

Ebony Rainford-Brent

Ex-England batter on BBC Test Match Special

Well done England, a brilliant fightback. Katherine Brunt was back to her best, her bowling was right on the money.

Dan Norcross

BBC Test Match Special

England also move into fourth place in the ICC Women's Championship with these points. And it means they cannot lose the Ashes until at least the first T20!

Champagne moment

ENGLAND BEAT AUSTRALIA BY FOUR WICKETS TO TAKE 2-0 LEAD IN WOMEN'S ASHES SERIES

England celebrate
Reuters

Eng 240-6

Georgia Elwiss sees England home by punching a four through the covers - England win by four wickets with more than four overs to spare.

Eng 236-6

Elwiss swipes a four past the keeper. Three to win!

Eng 232-6

Why is Perry not bowling? It won't look good for Australia if England win this with overs to spare and the Aussie strike bowler does not bowl her full allocation (she's only bowled eight). A couple of easy singles from Osborne's off-spin mean England need seven from 28 balls.

Eng 230-6 (target 239)

The target is ticking down as Elwiss slashes another four - while a half-tracker from Beams is despatched for a powerful four by Brunt to reduce the deficit to single figures. Nine needed from 30 balls.

Dan Norcross

BBC Test Match Special

The first game in an Ashes series, with 20 to win... you really can get the colly-wobbles.

Eng 221-6

Beams to continue - but Australia may be bowling for run-outs as there's complete confusion between Brunt and Elwiss and nearly a run-out. As if to show Australia are equally nervy, Beams then spins down a ropey wide.

Kalika Mehta

BBC Sport at Taunton

The crowd are on their feet as Natalie Sciver departs for a career-best 66. Sciver looks distraught at failing to have seen England home but the crowd applaud loudly at what is most likely was the match-defining innings.

Eng 219-6 (target 239)

Katherine Brunt is the new batter - she boasts a strike rate of 78 in ODI cricket, but has a look at the first couple of deliveries from Osborne before cutting a quick single to get off the mark, the fielder's throw breaks the stumps (and keeper Healy is struck a painful blow by a flying bail) but Elwiss had made her ground. 20 needed from 36 balls. Nervous? Not a bit of it.

Mel Jones

Former Australia batter on BBC Test Match Special

Was it the right shot? I think it was. She was in really good nick but she didn't execute well enough.

WICKET

Sciver c Beams b Osborne 66 (Eng 217-6)

Sciver chips a catch to mid-off, from the bowling of the recalled Osborne. England not home and dry yet.

Eng 216-5 (target 239)

Can lightning strike twice for Beams? Sciver reaches her highest ODI score when she passes 65, and four from the over (that will do nicely if you're England) means it's 23 needed from 42 balls.

Eng 212-5 (Sciver 64*, Elwiss 8*)

Left-arm spinner Jonassen returns, Sciver misses with a drive but Elwiss is alert enough to scamper through for a leg bye - and then opens her account with a powerful four through the covers before crashing another one to the extra cover rope. 27 needed from 48.

Mel Jones

Former Australia batter on BBC Test Match Special

This is still a challenge for Nat Sciver now she's lost Lydia Greenway at the other end. She knows she wants to be there at the end.

Eng 203-5 (target 239)

Georgia Elwiss - better known as a seam bowler, but not required to bowl today and batting at seven on the strength of her domestic form - receives a wide from Beams but sees off the rest of the over. 36 needed from 54.

Mel Jones

Former Australia batter on BBC Test Match Special

It was a fantastic knock because she looked so scratchy early on. She didn't panic but she just stuck with Nat Sciver. Once she felt comfortable she really opened up.

WICKET

Greenway c Blackwell b Beams 53 (Eng 202-5)

If in doubt, try a ropey full toss from a leg-spinner! Beams has her first wicket against England as Greenway looks to despatch a high, loopy delivery and is superbly caught by Alex Blackwell at mid-wicket. Still 37 needed from 56 balls.

50 for Lydia Greenway

And that's a half-century for Lydia Greenway, helping herself to fours from the first two deliveries of Beams's next over. The Kent left-hander has taken 68 balls to reach the landmark.

Eng 194-4 (Greenway 45*, Sciver 64*)

Coyte to bowl her ninth over, with a leg slip in place to deter Greenway's patented tickle-round-the-corner shot which brings her so many runs. Sciver crouches to scoop Coyte over fine leg but it only brings a single. Three more singles mean England have got through the powerplay unscathed, and the facts are now this: 10 overs left, 45 runs needed.

Eng 190-4 (target 239)

Australia need a wicket - and fast. Captain Meg Lanning is giving her six bowlers one and two-over spells trying to ring the changes, and now it's the turn of leg-spinner Kristen Beams who has taken 0-26 from four overs. Beams, who was born in Tasmania but plays for Victoria, bounces in for her fifth over and it's a little better than before - only two singles from it, though one comes from a misfield by teenager Ferling. England need 49 from 66 balls.

Mel Jones

Former Australia batter on BBC Test Match Special

Nat Sciver has been absolutely brilliant. She made runs against Australia in the last Ashes, so she likes the big stage. She has commanded this partnership with Lydia Greenway at the other end.

Natalie Sciver
Getty Images