– By Juilli Ballal
After having clinched the three-match ODI series 3-0 and drawing the one-off test, the defending champions Australia seem to show no mercy towards the lack luster English side as the visitors handed a 93-run defeat to the hosts on Friday at Chelmsford in the first of three T20s.
Winning the toss and electing to field first, England went for far too plenty as the mighty Aussies packed a punched with a formidable 226-3 in 20 overs. Leading from the front, Australia skipper Meg Lanning scored an unbeaten 133 (63) smashing as many as 17 boundaries and seven sixes. Beth Mooney (54) and Ashleigh Gardner (27) played couple of useful cameos to take the Aussies past 200. The English bowlers looked hapless as they were hammered all over the park. Among the wickets were slow left arm bowler Sophie Ecclestone who struck with 2-42 in her four overs and Kate Cross who picked up 1-28 in her three.
Considering a decent English batting line-up, the fans expected it to be a exciting contest. However, the match turned out to be a lopsided affair as the English side was dwindled down to 133-9 in 20 overs, falling short of 93 runs. The openers Danielle Wyatt and Amy Ellen Jones went back to the dug out without troubling the scorers. The fact that just four English players managed to score a double digit figure shows the dominance enjoyed by the Australian bowlers. Lauren Winfield top scored with 33. For the visitors, Megan Schutt was the pick of the bowlers as she scalped 3-25 in her four overs, receiving good support from Ellyse Perry who struck with 2-11 in her three.
Meg Lanning was awarded as the Player of the Match for her scintillating knock of 133. Having defended the Ashes quite comfortably, Australia will take on England in the second T20 on Sunday at Hove. The remaining two T20s will be nothing more than dead rubber.