Gardner’s 8/66 sees Australia defeat England by 89 runs in Women’s Ashes Test

Australian off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner’s outstanding performance with the ball saw Australia script a memorable 89-run win over England in their one-off Women’s Ashes Test. Gardner took 8/66 in the second innings, dismissing England for 178 before lunch on the fifth and final day.

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Ashleigh’s remarkable performance in the Test match earned her a total of 12 wickets, with four of them coming in the first innings, a new Australian record. English newcomer, Danni Wyatt, was the highest scorer with 54 before she was dismissed lbw by Ashleigh.

Furthermore, Ashleigh joined the elite ranks of women’s Test cricket by becoming the second player to claim eight wickets in a single innings, following India’s Neetu David, who achieved this feat against England in 1995. Ashleigh’s overall match figures of 12/165 are the second-best in women’s Test cricket. Pakistan’s Shaiza Khan holds the top spot with figures of 13/226 against West Indies in 2004.

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With this win, Australia now only need to win two out of the six white-ball matches in the multi-format series to retain the Ashes. The first of the three T20Is will begin on July 1 in Birmingham.

On the fifth day, England resumed their innings at 116/5, chasing a daunting target of 268 after losing five wickets in quick succession on the fourth day, leaving them needing 152 more runs for an improbable victory.

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Danni Wyatt and Kate Cross managed to add 25 runs for the sixth wicket, but Cross eventually fell for 13, caught behind off Ashleigh’s bowling. Ashleigh’s exceptional spin bowling completely outclassed the England batsmen.

Despite Danni’s valiant efforts, she lacked support from the other end. Amy Jones was stumped by Alyssa Healy, Sophie Ecclestone was dismissed lbw, and Lauren Filer was bowled for a duck before Danni’s final dismissal, resulting in Australia earning four points.

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Although England had their moments in the match, including Tammy Beaumont’s scintillating 208 in the first innings and Sophie Ecclestone’s 10-wicket haul with five wickets in each innings, Ashleigh’s outstanding performance ultimately overshadowed their achievements.

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