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Women's Ashes: Australia need to end losing streak

The last fortnight has seen a huge turnaround in the series between England Women and Australia Women, with the hosts winning three in a row to square up the battle for the Ashes.

Australia had won the sole Test match and the opening T20I to put themselves firmly on track for success, but England have hit back to take the honours in two further T20 contests and the opening ODI.

That means the series is tied at 6-6 with two one-day internationals to play and the tourists needing to win at least one more game to ensure the Ashes are retained.

Their next opportunity to do just that comes on Sunday, with the second ODI taking place at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

WhatEngland v Australia, second ODI
WhereAgeas Bowl, Southampton
When19:00 (AEST), Sunday 16th July 2023
How to watchNine
OddsEngland Women 2.30, Australia Women 1.61

Strong position has crumbled away

Australia looked to be cruising to their goal of Ashes retention when they defeated England by 89 runs in the only Test match of the series and backed that up with a four-wicket victory in the opening T20I.

However, both of those wins were closer than the final margins of victory suggest and England seemingly proved that theory by putting together a three-match winning run.

That started with a crucial three-win success in the second T20I at The Oval and the Twenty20 series was decided when England won a rain-affected finale at Lord's by five wickets.

Australia may have hoped that a switch to 50-over action would see them back on top, but that proved not to be the case as their hosts won another thriller, this time by two wickets in Bristol.

That means the series is all-square and the momentum is clearly with England, who have found a way to edge these hard-fought contests.

Winning mentality needs to return

In truth there doesn't seem to be too much wrong with the way Australia are going about things, but perhaps they allowed themselves to relax a little bit after winning the opening two matches of the series.

That was alluded to by skipper Alyssa Healy after their most recent loss in Bristol, as she told reporters: "I mean, the Ashes is on the line now proper, isn't it? If that doesn't galvanise the group, I don't know what does."

Healy remains key for her side and needs to find some form with the bat, having made 0, 50, 5, 37, 16 and 8 in her series innings to date.

Ellyse Perry has fared better, having made 51 not out, 34 and 41 in her last three innings, having so narrowly missed out on a century in the series-opening Test.

Bel Mooney has also been in consistently good from in England and Australia probably need two of their big three to fire to get the job done in Southampton.

Mooney is 4.33 to be Team - Top Batter on Sunday, with Perry 4.75 and Healy priced at 4.33.

Just as crucial to Aussie hopes of victory is finding a way to stop Tammy Beaumont, who made a double century in the Test match before sitting out the T20 action.

She returned to make 47 in the opening ODI and can be backed at 4.33 to be Team - Top Batter for England on Sunday.

Gardner going well in spin battle

Slow bowling has come to prominence across most of this series, with off-spinner Ash Gardner backing up 12 wickets in the Test match with solid performances in the limited-over clashes.

She took 3-42 in the opening one-dayer and, along with leggie Georgia Wareham and left-armer Jess Jonassen, almost guided Australia to what would have been a decisive win.

Gardner is 6.00 to be Team - Top Bowler at Southampton, with Jonassen available at 5.00 and Wareham 6.00.

The Aussie spin trio will need to get the upper hand on their England equivalents, Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn, if the tourists are to end the game in Southampton as the holders of the Ashes for the immediate future.

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