England women impress in comfortable eight-wicket win over Australia

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport in Mumbai
Tammy Beaumont
Tammy Beaumont was one of the stars of England's 2017 World Cup win
Twenty20 tri-series, Mumbai (Brabourne Stadium)
Australia 149-8 (20 overs): Haynes 65; Gunn 3-26
England 150-2 (17 overs): Sciver 68, Beaumont 58; Kimmince 1-12
England won by eight wickets

England women put in a polished all-round display to coast past Australia in their Twenty20 tri-series opener.

Nat Sciver thrashed 68 not out from 43 balls and Tammy Beaumont an unbeaten 58 from 44 to get England to their target of 150 with three overs to spare and eight wickets in hand in Mumbai.

That followed some tight bowling and smart fielding that kept Australia to 149-8, despite Rachael Haynes' 65.

England's next game is against hosts India on Sunday.

Teams play each other twice before a final on 31 March.

Australia beat India in the series opener on Thursday, but were completely outplayed by a new-look England side.

Without wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor and pace bowler Katherine Brunt, who are not on the tour, and injured bowler Anya Shrubsole, England gave debuts to opening batter Bryony Smith, left-arm seamer Katie George and all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards.

But it was the experienced members of the side that secured this win, one that came from stifling Australia on a flat Brabourne Stadium pitch and a lightning fast outfield.

George's direct hit to run out Beth Mooney set the tone, while Danni Wyatt's tumbling effort at deep square leg to remove dangerous opener Alyssa Healy for 31 was the first of some reliable catching.

One blemish from Smith, shelling a simple chance at cover, gave a life to stand-in Australia captain Haynes, who had 41 at the time.

Left-hander Haynes favoured hitting towards long-on, but scoring was kept in check by Danielle Hazell and Jenny Gunn. Hazell conceded only 24 runs with her off-spin and Gunn's medium pace claimed 3-26 to leave Australia with what felt like a below-par total.

So it proved. Even though Smith wandered out of her ground to be stumped in the second over of England's reply and Wyatt was bowled by Delissa Kimmince, Beamount and Sciver flayed the Australia attack.

Sciver in particular played some eye-catching strokes, hitting Ellyse Perry for consecutive sixes, then ramping, flicking and reverse-sweeping the slower bowlers.

As Australia became more ragged, England surged for the finish line. The serene nature of the chase not only testament to the skills of Sciver and Beamount, but also the good work done with the ball and in the field.

England batter Tammy Beaumont told BBC Sport: "It bodes well for the rest of the tournament. Maybe there were a lot of doubts over us, coming out here with an inexperienced squad, people might have thought that we would struggle against a strong Australian team.

"It's good to put that marker out there, but that's the nature of T20 cricket. If one of their top-order players had come off, they might have got to 180 or 190.

"Playing India in India is never easy, so it's an exciting prospect to see how we go against them on Sunday."

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