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Page last updated at 08:48 GMT, Sunday, 3 February 2008

England women seal famous MCG win

First women's one-day international, Melbourne: England 233-6 beat Australia 177 by 56 runs

England's women celebrate one of their wickets in Melbourne
England celebrate one of their key wickets in Melbourne

Jenny Gunn played a starring role as England's women took a 1-0 lead in the one-day series with a surprise 56-run win against Australia in Melbourne.

She made 48 in England's total of 233-6 before getting rid of both openers as the hosts were dismissed for just 177.

It was England's first one-day win over Australia on their own turf since 1988 and only their second victory in all over their southern hemisphere rivals.

The win gave England a major boost ahead of the four one-day matches.

Then they will begin the defence of their Ashes crown in the sole Test match near Sydney.

After losing the Twenty20 international on Friday and struggling in most of their warm-ups, England were not expected to pose a major challenge to the World Cup holders.

But England turned the tables on those predictions with a thoroughly accomplished performance, particularly with the ball and in the field.

We've had some things to work on and everyone has done that - we've all worked really hard and it's paid off today

Lydia Greenway

Eighteen-year-old wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor set the platform for England's innings, hitting 44 off 64 balls at the top of the order, before three quick wickets fell to make it 116-4 in the 30th over.

But Gunn, who hit four boundaries, and Lydia Greenway (48 not out) put on 90 and the Aussies conceded 15 runs in no-balls and wides to give themselves a tough chase.

A series of dropped catches by the hosts scarcely helped matters.

England's bowlers were, by contrast, impressively accurate - and the fielders held their catches.

Nicki Shaw stifled the openers, bowling seven overs costing just 13, while Gunn chipped in with the wickets of both Shelley Nitschke and Alex Blackwell.

Skipper Karen Rolton soaked up 62 deliveries in contributing just 30 as the required run rate ballooned and wickets continued to fall.

Taylor continued her fine performance with a stumping and a catch, with her Sussex team-mates Rosalie Birch (2-30) and Laura Marsh (3-41) making the big in-roads into the middle order.

Sarah Taylor
Taylor celebrates the catch that saw the back of Karen Rolton

Australia wunderkind Ellyse Perry, just turned 17, showed her more experienced team-mates what was needed with 40 from 65 balls at number seven, but Australia were never in it.

Afterwards, an ecstatic England skipper Charlotte Edwards, who took the final wicket with the second ball of the last over, said: "The way the girls have responded from the Twenty20 defeat is brilliant.

"It was an all-round team performance and I'm really proud of every single one of them. To beat a very good Australian team on home soil at the MCG is a fantastic effort.

"We're all aware that this is only one game out of five. We need to come back out and show the same fight tomorrow as we did today."

Greenway added: "We've had some things to work on and everyone has done that - we've all worked really hard and it's paid off today.

"We want to make sure we keep working hard and come out strong again. I was pleased with how I batted today.

"The wicket wasn't as good as we thought it'd be so we had to work hard for our runs. The partnership with Jen helped set the last 10 overs up."

see also
Perry too much for England women
01 Feb 08 |  Women's cricket
England women break Oz tour duck
30 Jan 08 |  Women's cricket
England women suffer second loss
28 Jan 08 |  Women's cricket
England's women lose tour opener
25 Jan 08 |  Women's cricket
England women in Australia 2008
28 Sep 07 |  Women's cricket

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