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Australia draw first blood in Women's Ashes series

Australia won the first match of the Women's Ashes. Credit: PA

Ashleigh Gardner starred with ball and bat as Australia drew first blood in the Women's Ashes by beating England in a tense series opening one-day international in Brisbane.

The 20-year-old followed up figures of three for 47 with a superb cameo of 27 from 18 balls, while Alex Blackwell underpinned Australia's chase of 229 with an unbeaten 67 from 86 deliveries.

Blackwell was at the other end when Jess Jonassen creamed the first ball she faced for four which sealed a nervy two-wicket victory with five balls to spare for the Southern Stars at a sold out Allan Border Field.

England had earlier been restricted to 228 for nine after being put in to bat and it seemed they had done enough after Australia slipped to 181 for six in the 43rd over.

But Gardner marked her introduction to the crease with back-to-back fours off England's World Cup hero Anya Shrubsole in the next over before clearing the rope twice to tilt the contest in Australia's favour.

By the time Gardner departed the equation was down to nine from 16 and although Amanda Wellington was run out, there was to be no late twist as Australia took the two points on offer in this multi-format series.

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England cast controversy aside to restrict West Indies to 288

Credit: PA

England set aside this week's controversial distractions to restrict West Indies to a stop-start 288 for six as they try to close out a 4-0 Royal London Series win at the Ageas Bowl.

In the final match of this country's longest cricket summer, Eoin Morgan's men could perhaps be forgiven for trudging to the finish line - especially after the arrest of Ben Stokes on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and his and Alex Hales' suspension by the England and Wales Cricket Board from all future international fixtures until further notice.

It was therefore to their credit that, after winning the toss in a match delayed by morning rain, they limited the tourists to under 300 on a good pitch despite Shai Hope's 72 from number three.

Chris Gayle took 15 balls to register his first run, a single to cover off Jake Ball, but he then briefly launched a remarkable sequence of hitting off the same bowler, registering five sixes in six balls spread over two overs.

England needed to get him quickly, and Tom Curran and Liam Plunkett had the answer with a brilliantly-disguised back-of-the-hand slower ball from the debutant and then an athletic pressure catch, running and diving back from mid-off.

Plunkett doubled up with another outstanding catch, this time off his own bowling as he got down low to hold a Kyle Hope straight-drive with his left hand.

A curiously unproductive partnership followed between Shai Hope and Marlon Samuels in which they managed a solitary boundary between them from 122 deliveries.

There was no pay-off from Samuels either, stumped on the charge at Moeen Ali, but Hope cashed in on two lives, dropped on 32 and 61 by Morgan and then Joe Root.

He finally hit his first four from his 78th ball and duly made it three in three - all to fine-leg off Curran, the second taking him past 50 - before eventually holing out on the cover boundary off Ball.

West Indies still had the resources to bag 115 runs in the last 12 overs to post a credible but far from daunting target.

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