Women's Ashes 2015: Australia beat England in second ODI

By Kalika MehtaBBC Sport at Bristol
Meg Lanning
Meg Lanning has averaged 55 in one-day international cricket in 2015
Women's Ashes, 2nd ODI, Bristol
Australia 259-6 (50 overs): Lanning 104, Perry 48, Sciver 2-27
England 196 (43 overs): Edwards 58, Taylor 43, Schutt 4-47
Australia win by 63 runs (Australia 2pts; series level at 2-2)

Meg Lanning hit a stunning century as Australia beat England to level the Women's Ashes series at Bristol.

Lanning's 104 came in 98 balls and included 13 fours as she laid the platform for Australia's 259-6.

England's openers put on 92, but once Heather Knight (38) and Charlotte Edwards (58) were parted the hosts collapsed.

They lost their last seven wickets for 40 runs, being bowled out for 196 - Megan Schutt taking 4-47.

Having lost the first of the seven-match multi-format Ashes series in Taunton on Tuesday, the Southern Stars fought back impressively to claim the two points and draw themselves level.

With the final ODI in Worcester on Sunday, England will look to claim a slender lead before the Test and three Twenty20 internationals.

Ex-England spinner Holly Colvin on BBC Test Match Special:
"England will look at this one in depth. They've got a couple of days before Sunday, they'll look to train hard and come back with real intent at Worcester. Amy Jones was an odd choice for me at four, Lauren Winfield has been doing brilliantly in the Championship and averaging 200, although she's been opening the batting there."

After Australia's top order failed in Taunton, Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton made slow but steady work of the first powerplay, reaching 38-0 after 10 overs.

Lanning, who fell for a duck in the first ODI, came to the crease with her side well set on 103-2, and looked every bit the batting talent that earned her the accolade of women's cricketer of the year in May.

Driving and sweeping the ball to the ropes to perfection, the 23-year-old reached her 50 off 58 balls, before accelerating.

A drop behind the stumps by Sarah Taylor earned Lanning a reprieve on 72 as she went on to complete her sixth ODI century - just three behind counterpart Edwards, who has played 149 more matches.

Sarah Taylor and Meg Lanning
Lanning's century earned her a handshake from England's Sarah Taylor after her dismissal

At the other end, Ellyse Perry (48), searching for a record seventh consecutive half-century, was able to milk easy singles.

And, despite the Southern Stars losing 4-22 from 3.2 overs at the end of their innings, Lanning's brilliance helped them post 259-6.

Victory for England would have required a record chase and although they started well, an exceptional piece of fielding from Lanning saw Knight run out for 38.

Edwards, who made her 45th ODI half-century, looked primed for a ton of her own but with the hosts having reached 122-1 off the first 25 overs then suffered a dramatic collapse.

The accusation that England's middle order struggle when their top order have failed to fire certainly looked accurate.

Schutt's selection, having been brought in as an extra seam option at the expense of spinner Kristen Beams, proved to be the difference as she took four wickets, including the vital scalp of Edwards.

'More than one turning point'

England opener Knight thought one of the hosts' top order should have capitalised on a good start. She said: "Wickets throughout the innings hurt us and as a top order all three of us got starts.

"If we wanted to win the game, one of us would have gone on and got a big score like Meg did for them.

"We seemed to be cruising, we were 120-1 at one point. Those wickets in the middle cost us. I don't think it was one turning point."

Women's Ashes schedule
DateGameVenueWinnerPts available
21 Jul1st ODITauntonEng (4 wkts)2 (Eng 2-0)
23 Jul2nd ODIBristolAus (63 runs) 2 (2-2)
26 Jul3rd ODIWorcester-2
11-14 AugTestCanterbury-4
26 Aug1st T20Chelmsford-2
28 Aug2nd T20Hove-2
31 Aug3rd T20Cardiff-2
Heather Knight is run out
Knight added 92 with Charlotte Edwards before being run out - England collapsed from 92-0 to 196 all out
Megan Schutt celebrates the wickets of Anya Shrubsole
Schutt took four wickets - three bowled and four lbw - after being preferred to spinner Kristen Beams
The crowd at Bristol
A crowd of more than 3,000 at Bristol was rewarded with an uninterrupted day's play, despite a brief threat of showers

Top Stories