Natalie Sciver steers England to Ashes victory

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Natalie Sciver hit a brilliant 66 as England started their Women's Ashes series with a four-wicket victory over Australia.

Sciver's century stand with Lydia Greenway, who made 53, helped England recover from 80 for four, before both departed with the victory line in sight.

Greenway hooked a full toss straight to midwicket before Sciver picked out mid-off with 22 runs required to win.

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Georgia Ellwiss and Katherine Brunt saw off those runs as England took the two points on offer from the first one-day international.

Ellyse Perry top-scored with 78 in Australia's 238 for nine after the tourists elected to bat.

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In response England's top order all got starts but failed to kick on. Charlotte Edwards (15) dragged on facing Perry before Heather Knight picked out Meg Lanning at midwicket for 12.

Sarah Taylor looked impressive until the 20th over when, on 30, she nicked behind off Erin Osborne, who had accounted for Amy Jones (15) in her previous set of six.

Australia scented blood but Greenway and Sciver's combination helped England towards victory.

Australia's score was thanks largely to Alex Blackwell and Perry. The pair came together at the crease with the score 35 for three, after Brunt, who took three for 48, and Kate Cross had accounted for Australia's top three.

Blackwell and Perry put on a stand of 121 that saw both post fifties - Perry's her sixth in as many one-day internationals.

The stand was broken by Heather Knight, whose shy at the stumps from mid-off sent Blackwell on her way for 58.

Perry, who was dropped on 21 by Becky Grundy, went on to 78 before picking out Sciver on the deep midwicket boundary.

A direct hit from Edwards accounted for Osborne either side of Taylor combining with Greenway and then Brunt for further run-outs as Australia's innings came to a stuttering end.

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Australia cricket
England cricket
The Ashes

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