A thrilling women’s Ashes series came to a close at Taunton with England defeating Australia by 69 runs via DLS method in the third ODI on Tuesday night.
The victory allowed England to clinch the ODI series 2-1, but Australia still retained the Women’s Ashes as the multi-format series ended tied at 8-8 following the seven matches, due to the Alyssa Healy-led side being previous holders of the trophy. But more importantly, England handed Australia their first ODI series defeat in a decade.
“I’m hugely pleased, it’s a draw isn’t it. And we’ve got two trophies against the world champions, which is really special. I think the fact that we’d gone so close and gone toe-to-toe with Australia, in the Test and that first T20, I think it actually built more belief – even though we didn’t get the results,” said Heather after the match.
England had come close to taking the Women’s Ashes, but a three-run loss in the second ODI at Southampton had dashed those hopes.
“I think the way that the group has turned it around after the Ageas Bowl, it was a pretty quiet bus journey, on the way here there was a lot of emotion and disappointment that the Ashes had slipped away, but I think credit to the group, and to the staff, the way they’ve turned it around and really turned up in the match,” added Heather.
England looked to be heading towards losing Women’s Ashes early after being 6-0 behind due to losing the one-off Test and first T20I match. But the hosts’ staged a remarkable fightback to win four of the remaining five matches.
“I think it was just staying very level, obviously accepting we were in the situation, but that we could do a lot about it. We felt like we were really close, and we had the players to compete with this really good side. So credit to the girls for still believing, and I think the staff as well deserve a huge amount of credit for being able to keep us believing,” stated Heather.
For the ODI leg of the Women’s Ashes, all three games were sold out and Heather concluded by saying England wanted to enthrall the crowd through their performance in Taunton.
“We wanted to continue playing how we had all series. We wanted to entertain and inspire this crowd that had come out to support us,” the England skipper said.
“We owed it to everyone to try to do that, and obviously, there was a lot on the line still. So I’m hugely impressed by how the girls have done that and very happy to be finishing with a draw,” she added.