2nd over: England 17-0 (Wyatt 7, Beaumont 4) Wyatt, on the charge, slaps Megan Schutt over cover for the first boundary. It’s been a busy start from England, who get four bonus runs when a big inswinger from Schutt beats both Wyatt and the keeper Healy.
1st over: England 6-0 (Wyatt 1, Beaumont 3) Ellyse Perry’s first over is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a leg-side wide to Wyatt, who is also beaten by a beauty outside off stump. Beaumont then drags a short ball towards mid-on, where the sprawling Vlaeminck does very well to save a couple of runs.
England have, as we suspected, made a change to their batting order: Tammy Beaumont will open with Danni Wyatt.
It’s a beautiful evening in Bristol. The players are ready, the umpires are ready. Let us flay.
Amy Jones is listed to open for England, but she may drop down the order after a miserable time in the white-ball matches. She has made five runs in five innings, with four ducks, although she made a superb 64 on Test debut before this IT20 series.
The young bowling allrounder Mady Villiers makes her England debut, while Australia bring in the fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck.
England Jones (wk), Wyatt, Beaumont, Knight (c), Sciver, Winfield, Brunt, Shrubsole, de Villiers, Ecclestone, Cross.
Australia Healy (wk), Mooney, Lanning (c), Perry, Gardner, Haynes, Jonassen, Wareham, Kimmince, Schutt, Vlaeminck.
Australia have won the toss and will bowl first
“We want to finish off on a high,” says Meg Lanning. “We need three hours of hard work tonight and we’re looking forward to it.”
Here’s Geoff Lemon on the great Meg Lanning, who has scored 388 runs against England in IT20s since she was last dismissed. And even that was a run out.
Good evening. The good news for England is that the torment is almost over. The bad news is that there isn’t enough Aloe Vera in the world to heal the scars caused by Australia’s pitiless excellence this summer. This has been a traumatic thrashing for England; the kind that, if you’re not careful, bleeds into the next Ashes series, and the next, and the next, until one day you start dining out on the fact you once beat Ellyse Perry’s outside edge.
A win tonight would give Australia a 14-2 series victory, which would be a record since the points system was introduced in 2013. (England won 12-4 that year.) England have avoided defeat only once, in the one-off Test match, and they were second best in that game as well.
Their Ashes horribilis has prompted the kind of soul-searching and domestic-structure-bemoaning this country does so readily. England can play better – there’s your daily insight, folks! – but they are still the second best team in the world. For mine, this Ashes has been more about Australia’s strengths than their weaknesses.
On reflection it was naive to think England had much of a chance. They are playing against the greatest team in women’s cricket history. But I doubt England will draw much succour from that.
The match begins at 6.30pm.