Skipper Rachael Haynes was at the crease when Australian beat England in a T20 to clinch the Women’s Ashes. (AAP: Dean Lewins)
Australian captain Rachael Haynes has emphasised her pride in the team for bouncing back from a disappointing Women’s World Cup to secure the Women’s Ashes against England.
Haynes was a surprise choice as captain of the Australian side, after Meg Lanning was ruled out of the Women’s Ashes series with a shoulder injury.
Her Australian side made sure the Women’s Ashes would remain on home soil after beating the tourists by six wickets at North Sydney Oval in the first of three T20 internationals.
The Australians lead the series 8-4, and the best the English can now do is draw level on 8-8 with wins in the final two matches, with Australia retaining the urn after winning the last series in England.
Asked after the match if she had ever thought she would be raising the Women’s Ashes as captain, Haynes told Grandstand:
“In short, no. I’m definitely going to enjoy the moment with the team, I’m sure we’ll celebrate a bit tonight, obviously there’s still two games to go in the series but it’s such a good moment (for the team), I’m really happy.”
Haynes said she was proud of the team for how they had played to achieve their goal.
“I don’t think it was a perfect game, but certainly that chase from Beth Mooney, that was remarkable it was fantastic,” Haynes said.
“Turning up today, if someone had said we’d be chasing 132, we would have been pretty happy with that.
“Albeit it was probably a bit more than we would have liked given the bowling performance early, but having said that I’m just so proud of the team.”
The win marks a significant turnaround following the Australians’ semi-final exit from this year’s Women’s World Cup.
“We’ve obviously come off a disappointing period, and to come out and win the Ashes like that is fantastic,” Haynes said.
“I guess it [bouncing back from the World Cup] is not done overnight, certainly this is one of the stepping stones we really wanted to tick off … I just want to enjoy this [win] because there are plenty of bad times in cricket as well.
“It’s just great, I’m very happy.”
Beth Mooney played a remarkable innings to seal the victory for Australia. (AAP: Dean Lewins)
Australia’s win was largely down to a dominant innings from Mooney, who made 86 runs off just 56 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes.
Haynes had nothing but praise for Mooney, who was left out of the one-day internationals that started the series before returning for the drawn Test and the T20Is.
“She’s really had to bide her time throughout this series, she didn’t play in the ODIs which she was really disappointed about,” Haynes said.
“So to come out and make a statement like that today, it just shows the calibre of player she is.”
The series will conclude with two more T20Is
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