Ashleigh Gardner scalps 8, spins Australia to women's Ashes Test win | Crickit
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Ashleigh Gardner scalps 8, spins Australia to women's Ashes Test win

By, Mumbai
Jun 26, 2023 10:06 PM IST

England's batting caved in on the final day of the one-off Test, part of a multi-format women's Ashes series, at Trent Bridge

It was a match that saw several remarkable performances, but eventually a stunning eight-wicket haul by Ashleigh Gardner stole the show and helped Australia beat England by 89 runs in the one-off women’s Ashes Test at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Australia's Ashleigh Gardner looks on after taking the wicket of England's Sophie Ecclestone during day five of the first Women's Ashes test match at Trent Bridge(AP)
Australia's Ashleigh Gardner looks on after taking the wicket of England's Sophie Ecclestone during day five of the first Women's Ashes test match at Trent Bridge(AP)

For just the second time ever, a women’s Test went into the fifth day. Australia were in command, needing five wickets to win, while England were 152 runs away. Gardner ensured the result can go only one way, claiming the last five wickets to finish with a match haul of 12/165.

England had done well to stay in the game for most of the contest. Australia opted to bat and scored 473 in the first innings, led by Ellyse Perry’s 99 and Annabel Sutherland’s unbeaten 137. The hosts fought back through Tammy Beamount's 208 -- she became the first England woman batter to score a Test double century -- to get to within 10 runs of the Aussie total.

Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone then took a five-wicket haul for the second time in the match as England dismissed Australia for 257 in the second innings. Set a target of 268, Heather Knight and Co started well to be 55 for no loss, but lost four wickets inside five overs as the Aussies stormed back into the contest.

Danni Wyatt, who has played over 100 ODIs and T20Is, scored a fifty on Test debut but the rest of England batting collapsed.

Gardner bowled 20 of the 49 overs and delivered an incredibly accurate spell of off-spin. The 26-year-old all-rounder, who was the joint most expensive overseas player in the inaugural Women’s Premier League, claimed 8/66. Only India’s Neetu David, with 8/53 against England in 1995, has better innings bowling figures in a women’s Test.

“I wouldn't have dreamt of it, to be honest, but it shows that having five days in a Test match to actually get a result is super important. I guess there was a little bit of luck involved with the conditions out there and we bowled really well in partnerships,” Gardner said after receiving the Player-of-the-Match award.

“We wanted to keep the stumps in play as much as possible as a bowling unit, so that all modes of dismissal were available. It was just awesome to be able to put on a performance for the team."

The victory gave Alyssa Healy and Co four points in the multi-format Ashes series, with three T20 Internationals and as many ODIs, each offering two points, to follow from July 1.

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