Mooney out of this world as Australia strengthen grip on Ashes with shaky victory over England

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Beth Mooney of Australia bats during the Women's Ashes 1st Vitality IT20 match between England and Australia at Edgbaston on July 01, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Beth Mooney has guided Australia to within one win of retaining the Ashes, but only after surviving a mighty scare in a last-over Twenty20 win over England at Edgbaston.

Opener Mooney was at her brilliant best, scoring an unbeaten 61 off 47 balls, to ensure that Australia managed to scrape home by four wickets off the penultimate delivery on Saturday, but only after a nerve-racking final over in the Birmingham day-nighter.

Replying to England’s 7-153, Australia had largely been in control in the run chase and needed just five runs off the final over, with the game looking done and dusted as Annabel Sutherland smashed the first ball off Sophie Ecclestone straight for four.

But needing just the single to win, the next two were dots, before Sutherland got caught off the fourth, trying to slash over the top. 

Georgia Wareham then entered, and though her hit off the penultimate ball was partially stopped at cover, she and Mooney still managed to scamper the single that protected Australia’s proud record of not having lost an official T20 match for two y

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