England Women’s Academy had a mixed set of results in their Twenty20 double-header against Australia Shooting Stars, emphatically winning the first match by eight wickets before a thrilling one-run defeat in the second.
In Sunday’s first game, EWA’s Sophie Ecclestone and Sophia Dunkley ripped through the Australians with three wickets each, justifying the decision to field first, as the Shooting Stars were bowled out for just 75 in 16.5 overs.
Alex Hartley also chipped in with two wickets, before EWA’s batters took centre stage as Hollie Armitage hit 15 and Georgia Adams 25 from the top of the order.
Their opening stand of 35 set up the win, which was completed by Dunkley and Fran Wilson, the former adding to her wickets with an unbeaten 22.
In the second match, Australia opted to bat first and despite struggling early on, they recovered well to post 111 for six.
Hartley again shone with the ball for EWA, her 3-14 ensuring Australia would have to rely on an unbroken partnership of 44 from Nicola Hancock and Tahlia McGrath, the latter hitting an unbeaten 32 off 28 balls.
In response, EWA too needed some healthy partnerships after the early dismissals of Georgia Adams and Hollie Armitage.
Emma Lamb made a superb 45 off 29 balls to lead the charge, as she first strung 26 together with Eve Jones, who scored eight, before a 38-run stand with Sophie Luff, who also made eight.
It meant EWA were poised for the victory push at 73 for five in 10.3 overs, but hopes were dashed when Australia’s Alex Price stepped up with figures of 4-15.
Nevertheless, Sophie Ecclestone had the chance to win it for EWA on the final ball of the match, though Price had her caught out for two leaving England two short of the victory target.