Laura Jolly / Cricket.com.au
The Australian all-rounder has led a clinical Australian bowling effort in the second ODI against England, before anchoring the chase with the bad to clinch victory in the series.
Ellyse Perry has starred with bat and ball to guide Australia to an outright Ashes series victory via a five-wicket win in the second one-dayer at Junction Oval.
Perry took 3-12 from her seven overs including the key wicket of opener Tammy Beaumont, as a dominant effort from a relentless Australia attack skittled England for just 129 in 45.2 overs.
The veteran allrounder then top-scored with 40 during a somewhat laboured chase, which saw Australia reach their meagre target in 35.2 overs.
They take a 10-4 lead in the series with one ODI remaining – the first time Australia have won the multi-format, points-based series outright on home soil.
The victory bodes well for the Australian Women’s Cricket Team as the side has a massive 2022 campaign, including the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games where women’s T20 cricket makes its Games debut.
Sri Lanka was confirmed as the eighth and final side to compete for the inaugural gold medal in Birmingham, where Australia and England have both qualified.
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After being sent in by Australia captain Meg Lanning, England were quickly on the back foot when Perry – who resumed new-ball duties alongside Megan Schutt with speedster Darcie Brown rested due to soreness – struck in her second over to remove Beaumont.
Alyssa Healy took a brilliant one-handed diving catch to send Beaumont on her way for six and hand Perry her first ODI wicket since October 2019.
Alana King was introduced to the attack with England 1-40 at the end of the power play and struck with her third delivery, trapping Lauren Winfield-Hill lbw for 24 off 36 to claim her first one-day scalp.
Winfield-Hill, who has been trying to answer questions around her role at the top of the order after failing to pass 50 in her last 47 international innings – a period stretching back to 2016 – successfully called for a review.
Pressure mounted as scoring remained difficult as Natalie Sciver (8 off 25) went after Jess Jonassen, but her miscued shot found the hands of Annabel Sutherland at mid-off.
The enormous wicket of Heather Knight came courtesy of Jonassen and a canny review from Lanning following an unsuccessful appeal for lbw, with the England captain forced to depart for 18.
Perry’s second removed Sophia Dunkley (two off 15) again lbw, before Lanning took a one-handed screamer at slip to dismiss Danni Wyatt (0) off the bowling of Annabel Sutherland.
Perry then had a third when Dean (0) top-edged a simple catch to Healy, continuing a collapse of 5-11 that left England reeling at 7-68.
After 40 runs came off the first 10 overs, just 38 came off the next 20.
The belated introduction of Tahlia McGrath (3-4 from 3.2 overs) to the attack reaped immediate rewards as she removed Amy Jones (28) and Kate Cross (0) both lbw in the same over, then picked up a third with the final wicket of Anya Shrubsole for seven.
It was not a stroll for Australia in response; Shrubsole had Rachael Haynes caught behind for 10, and Cross bowled Lanning for a second consecutive match – this time without scoring.
Healy fell for 22 when her attempted lofted drive down the ground was intercepted by Lauren Winfield-Hill at mid-off.
With Beth Mooney sitting out the match due to quad soreness, McGrath was promoted to number five, contributing 19, while Perry’s solid knock – which featured five fours and one six – came to an end when she was run out by a Cross direct hit on 40.
Cross sent a scare through the England camp when she fell awkwardly on her right wrist in the field. She appeared to be in significant pain but returned to bowl one more over before leaving the field to ice the joint.
While Australia had been dawdling towards their target, Ashleigh Gardner hit the accelerator in the 35th over, hitting a six and two fours to ice victory.
The final ODI will be played at the CitiPower Centre on Tuesday before both teams depart for the ODI World Cup in New Zealand two days later.
Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes v England
Australia Ashes squad: Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Stella Campbell, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (vc), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland
England Ashes squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver (vc), Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt
Australia lead the multi-format series 10-4
First T20: Australia won by nine wickets
Second T20: No Result
Third T20: Match Abandoned without a ball bowled
Test match: Match Drawn
First ODI: Australia won by 27 runs
Second ODI: Australia won by five wickets
Feb 8: Third ODI, Junction Oval, 10.05am AEDT