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Women’s Cricket World Cup: England lose to Australia by 12 runs despite Nat Sciver’s century | Cricket News

Women's Cricket World Cup: England lose to Australia by 12 runs despite Nat Sciver's century |  Cricket News

Australian Rachael Haynes hit 130-for-131 to help her team go 310-3 at bat first; Nat Sciver finishes unbeaten on 109 in just 85 deliveries but England trail 298-8 in response

Last update: 05/03/22 09:41

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England lose Women’s Cricket World Cup opener to Australia by 12 runs in New Zealand

England lose Women’s Cricket World Cup opener to Australia by 12 runs in New Zealand

England suffered a crushing defeat to Australia in their opening game of the Women’s World Cup losing by 12 points to Hamilton, despite a hugely impressive century from Nat Sciver.

Australia posted 310 for the loss of just three wickets after being sent at bat, with flyhalf Rachael Haynes firing 130 from 131 and captain Meg Lanning with 86.

England’s response saw Lauren Winfield-Hill fall in love with a duck after four balls before Tammy Beaumont led the charge with 74 – passing 3,000 ODI runs in the process – until she was puzzled by Alyssa Healy of Alana King’s Bowling.

Sciver pushed the game deep with a magnificent undefeated 109 on 85 balls; England needed 16 from the final to win but were 12 short as Katherine Brunt (25) and Sophie Ecclestone (1) were both dismissed, with Sciver ruled out on strike.

It was a sensational six-delivery finale from Jess Jonassen, who caught and threw Brunt with a superb one-handed grab. Footer King, meanwhile, was very impressive for Australia, taking 3-59 from his 10 overs, paying tribute to the late great Shane Warne by tapping his black armband in his celebration of the Beaumont wicket.

Australia's Rachael Haynes celebrates her century against England

Australia’s Rachael Haynes celebrates her century against England

It was an Aussie performance that the greats Warne and Rod Marsh – both tragically lost in the last 48 hours – would have been proud of, with Haynes and Lanning sharing a magnificent 196-run partnership for the second wicket to see the Australians display their highest-ever total against England in a World Cup match.

England’s attack had no response except perhaps for Sciver who claimed 2-68 from their 10 overs in a fine all-around display.

Set 311 to win, which would be comfortably a record pursuit by an England ODI cricket team, the reigning 50-plus world champions got off to the worst possible start as Winfield-Hill obediently chipped Megan’s fourth ball Schutt sleeves straight to the defender halfway through.

Beaumont becomes fastest at 3,000 races

Beaumont nearly followed her to the lodge soon after, only for an unusual mistake by Lanning, with the Australian skipper dropping a mere chance to slip with the England opener at four.

Beaumont cashed in after the reprieve, becoming the fastest England batter to 3,000 ODI runs – taking just 78 innings, to beat Sarah Taylor’s 87 – as she notched a 15th ODI fifty.

Beaumont shared promising half-century stands with Heather Knight (40) and Sciver, but England had the unfortunate knack of losing a wicket just when they were well placed to take the game by the skin of the neck.

Knight’s was another smooth dismissal, chipping Tahlia McGrath straight from cover, while Beaumont was cheated by a great bowler from King.

Amy Jones (4) and Danni Wyatt (7) came and went quickly, but England rebuilt themselves thanks to the brilliant Sciver and the active Sophia Dunkley (28), before the latter was toppled around his legs by King.

Brunt came in and landed some vigorous shots, while Sciver elevated his well-deserved century to 48th – the equation for England going from 36 needed over the back three, to 26 over the back two and 16 over the final.

But Jonassen, who had conceded 16 runs in her first two overs before being taken out of attack, came back and kept her composure to hand Australia an impressive opening victory.

Heather Knight felt there were 'lots of positives' to be taken from the opening match loss to Australia in the Women's Cricket World Cup, including Nat Sciver's century

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Heather Knight felt there were ‘lots of positives’ to be taken from the opening match loss to Australia in the Women’s Cricket World Cup, including Nat Sciver’s century

Heather Knight felt there were ‘lots of positives’ to be taken from the opening match loss to Australia in the Women’s Cricket World Cup, including Nat Sciver’s century

And after?

Australia are next in action in the early hours of Tuesday morning, taking on Pakistan from 1 a.m., while Englandthe second game of the group stage is against the West Indies – which opened the tournament with an upset victory over New Zealand – from 10 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

Watch every Women’s Cricket World Cup match live on Sky Sports Cricket, with Pakistan and India then clashing, live from 1 a.m. Sunday.