The Poms celebrate the wicket of Meg Lanning.
The Poms celebrate the wicket of Meg Lanning.

Perry shines but Aussies caught short in sweep bid

It was a long time coming but England finally found some Ashes form in winning the third and final T20 international at Bristol.

Although it hardly put a dent in the overall Ashes result - which the Aussies took 12-4 - the 17-run success will give them hope with the T20 World Cup in Australia looming large.

In a match which didn't go to script for the Aussies, skipper Meg Lanning was out for the first time in T20 cricket against England since 2016.

 

Australia still won the Ashes despite the final game defeat.
Australia still won the Ashes despite the final game defeat.

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Debutant Mandy Villiers was the unlikely hero for England taking the big wickets of the dangerous Alyssa Healy and the big hitting Ashleigh Gardner in the same over.

It put the brakes on Australia's scoring and with a cascade of wickets, player of the series Ellyse Perry - who scored 60 not out - simply ran out partners.

Australia was left to chase down 37 from 12 deliveries.

Still a Perry six in the second last over had Australia needing 29 off 9 and hopes were flickering.

 

But successive wickets to Sophie Ecclestone (3-22), who picked up Jess Jonassen and then Delissa Kimmince first ball, snuffed out any miracle comeback.

Katherine Brunt and Lauren Winfield put on a late 54-run partnership to get England to a competitive total of 5-139.

Raw fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck was brought into the Aussie side at the expense of Sophie Molineux and she repaid the faith with a wicket in her opening over - her first in T20 international cricket.

The 20-year-old finished with 1-9 off her two overs.

 

Katherine Brunt celebrates taking the wicket of Georgia Wareham.
Katherine Brunt celebrates taking the wicket of Georgia Wareham.

England protected opener Amy Jones against Ellyse Perry, who has claimed her wicket four times this series, by dropping her down the order and promoting first Tammy Beaumont and then Heather Knight.

So, of course, Perry claimed the wicket of Knight.

But this time the star all-rounder swooped on the ball while fielding at midwicket to run out Knight at the keeper's end.

Snapshot of the Ashes Series

This result took Australia to 12-4 points win. Australia won the ODIs 3-0, drew the Test and then finished the T20s 2-1. They are without doubt still the best team in the world.

The team

The Aussie women's team have the most established players in the world - and there is an impressive crop of players coming through.

Sophie Molineux has been outstanding since coming into the Test and T20s and Georgia Wareham is not far behind.

And let's not forget Tayla Vlaeminck. Her control might not be there yet but she has loves to send down rockets.

 

Alyssa Healy finds Heather Knight short of her ground.
Alyssa Healy finds Heather Knight short of her ground.

Records

Take your pick.

Ellyse Perry

She took 7-22 in third ODI was the best for Australia in ODI.

In the second T20, she became the first Australian player - male of female - to take 100 wickets and score 1000 runs.

For good measure, she also scored 116 at the Taunton Test.

She earned Player of the Series and is easily the player of her generation.

 

The skipper

Meg Lanning scored a record 133 not out in the first T20 at Chelmsford - the highest women's international T20 score. Lanning middled the ball from the moment she walked out - to see that innings was a "I was there moment".

But her captaincy across the three formats has also been outstanding and unwavering.

In ensuring the draw in Taunton, Lanning made sure her side was bringing home the Ashes and also ensured her players would have fresher legs going into the T20s.

 

Support acts

Megan Schutt has worked tirelessly and economically opening the bowling and closing out final overs. Her bowling partnerships with Perry helped Perry tear through England.

Rachael Haynes - 87 in the Test and rock solid leadership support for Lanning. Can bat pretty much anywhere in the order. Along with Perry is only the member from the 2009 side still knocking around the Aussie dressing room - and will be for some time.