Women’s Ashes classic leaves England duo Heather Knight and Nat Sciver conflicted after draw | Cricket News

“We were giving it a go then suddenly were favorites and it’s probably an opportunity missed”; Heather Knight and Nat Sciver admit England are disappointed not to have won after a thrilling day in the Women’s Ashes Test; Australia skipper Meg Lanning says her side “got away with one”

Last Updated: 30/01/22 11:22 am

Australia and England played out an incredible draw after a mesmerizing final session

Australia and England played out an incredible draw after a mesmerizing final session

England captain Heather Knight was delighted with the way her side fought on the last day of a thrilling Women’s Ashes Test but believes an extraordinary draw still represents “an opportunity missed”.

Australia set the tourists a record 257 to win in 48 overs in Canberra and England took on the challenge in a remarkable final session as the two sides played out an instant Ashes classic.

Impressive knocks from Nat Sciver, Knight and Sophia Dunkley helped England get to within 39 of their target, only three wickets down and with less than a run-a-ball required.

However, Meg Lanning’s side hit back and a collapse of 6-26 saw the home side move to within one wicket of a victory that would have seen them retain the Ashes but Kate Cross batted out a tense final two overs to secure a draw that keeps Australia ahead in the multi-format series, 6-4.

  • England started 23-0, needing another 234 from 42 overs
  • Tourists reach 166-3 when Knight (48) falls to Brown with 91 needed
  • Sciver and Dunkley put on 52 in 7.2 overs, England need less than run-a-ball
  • Australia go negative with Sutherland bowling down leg
  • Sutherland has Sciver (58) caught to trigger collapse
  • Jones (4), Dunkley (45), Brunt (4) go in space of three overs
  • England whittle it down to 13 needed from 15 balls
  • Shrubsole (6) run out, Dean (3) caught with 13 still required
  • Australia left needing one wicket in 13 balls to retain Ashes
  • Cross (1no) bats out last two overs to salvage a draw

“First of all, what a brilliant Test match from both teams!” Knight said at the presentation.

“We’ve gone toe-to-toe with the Australians, we’ve fought over four days and I do not think it deserves a draw in the end. Delighted with the way the girls fought and the fact that we went for it is really pleasing.

“I’m really pleased with the fact we got close. The psychology changed a little bit, we were giving it a go then suddenly were favorites and it’s probably an opportunity missed when we reflect on this. But we’ll probably look back in this and think ‘what a game to be involved in.’

“A word for Katherine [Brunt], if this is her last Test match, what a performance she has put it: the way she bowled, the way she fought, she’s a great warrior. “

Heather Knight on Katherine Brunt

“We went toe-to-toe with the Aussies and obviously, we’re still in the series which is the main thing.”

‘I feel more sad than I do happy’

Sciver, who top-scored with 58 for England, admitted that her overriding emotion was one of sadness at failing to get across the line despite her own and team’s valiant efforts.

Nat Sciver was disappointed not to win their Ashes Test against Australia, but was pleased that England have kept the series alive after hanging on for a draw

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Nat Sciver was disappointed not to win their Ashes Test against Australia, but was pleased that England have kept the series alive after hanging on for a draw

Nat Sciver was disappointed not to win their Ashes Test against Australia, but was pleased that England have kept the series alive after hanging on for a draw

She told reporters: “Test-match cricket can be very emotionally draining and tiring, but then when it comes down to that and you’ve got a chance to win …

“Unfortunately, I feel more sad than I do happy at the minute. We’ll be able to reflect on it and hopefully be able to take the positives from today, because we batted so well to get ourselves into that position.

“It felt like we were just going to get over the line but unfortunately we were not able to. But then obviously saving it became very important.”

The all-rounder added: “At the start (of the innings) we talked about just playing and seeing where we get to at tea, being positive, being busy. Every day we’ve seen people get in and score very quickly on the wicket.So that was the plan really.

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“After tea, we said more of the same and just breaking it down into each over, if we can get five or six runs each over, then we’re in a good position, keep doing that and see where we get to. We got into a great position, but could not quite get over the line in the end. “

‘We might have got away with one’

Meanwhile, Australia captain Meg Lanning was left struggling to get her head around a frenetic final hour in which her side went from facing defeat to the brink of victory but, ultimately, having to accept a share of the spoils.

“My mind’s a bit frazzled to be honest – there was a lot going on there,” she said.

Meg Lanning was 'frazzled' after a frenetic end to the Test at the Manuka Oval

Meg Lanning was ‘frazzled’ after a frenetic end to the Test at the Manuka Oval

“We declared feeling like we had enough runs there. England batted really well and put us under pressure. Then it was nice to be able to flip it around a little bit towards the back-end, just to be able to fight back like that I think was really impressive.It was a pretty amazing game in the end.

“I feel like we might have got away with one a little bit there. But, still, we were sort of in a pretty good position to win, so I’m still not sure what to make of it.

“It’s as good a Test match as I’ve been involved in, it was a lot of fun, it was up and down and I hope everyone enjoyed watching.”

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