England Women beat Australia in a super over in Canberra to get their first win of the Commbank IT20 Tri-Series and their first under new Head Coach Lisa Keightley.
Captain Heather Knight was the hero, recording her second career-best performance in two days – rescuing her side from 39/3 with an excellent 45-ball 78.
She was given great company by Fran Wilson who batted beautifully for her 39. With the ball, England were grateful to Nat Sciver who was parsimonious but the real stand-out performers were the spin twins of Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn who took 3/23 and 3/28 respectively.
It was a game that ebbed and flowed throughout, with Australian debutant Annabel Sutherland and Delissa Kimmince nearly snatching the game for the hosts.
In the end, their thrilling late hitting saw the scores level. Ecclestone went for just 8 in Australia’s Super Over and it was Knight herself who finished the job with consecutive fours off Ellyse Perry.
England will be thankful for having played two games that have gone to the final over in the extreme Canberra heat, perfect preparation for the World Cup proper.
The Commbank IT20 Tri-Series now moves to Melbourne, with England’s next game on Friday February 7 against India.
Following the dramatic win, Heather said: “It was an amazing game of cricket. I thought we’d won it then I thought we’d lost it, and it’s credit to Australia for taking it to a Super Over.
“We started slightly timidly with the bat, but we know that Danni Wyatt and Amy Jones are class acts at the top of the order and they’ll demonstrate that as the tournament moves on.
“Fran batted really well and with the ball Sophie and Glenny were excellent – and Nat deserves a mention, as well. Glenny was a little bit disappointed with how she went yesterday and she didn’t even bowl badly, so it’s great to see her bounce back like that so well.
“Soph was always going to bowl the Super Over for us, for someone who’s so young she consistently stands up and delivers and that’s a great reflection of her talent.”