England's women win Ashes as men slump to another loss
A tale of two teams at Hobart, as men fail again after seeing female counterparts win their series
ENGLAND'S male cricketers slumped to yet another defeat on their disastrous tour of Australia, as they lost the first Twenty20 international in Hobart, hours after watching their female counterparts beat the hosts to retain the women's Ashes on the same ground.
On paper, Stuart Broad's team gave a decent account of themselves as they reached 200-9 as they tried to chase down Australia's huge total of 213 off 20 overs. But Ravi Bopara's explosive innings of 65 not out off 27 balls, including seven sixes, only added a veneer of respectability to the scoresheet after the hosts took control from the very beginning of the match as Cameron White (75) and Aaron Finch (52) put on 106 in the first 11 overs.
It was a different story in the women's game as Charlotte Edwards led the tourists to a resounding victory with an innings of 92 not out from 59 balls, as England reached their target of 151 with nine wickets and 13 balls to spare.
The win means England retain the Ashes, which they won last summer. The women's series is played across all three formats of the game, with the winner decided on a points basis. England took a big step towards keeping the trophy by winning the only Test against Australia earlier this month, and victory in Hobart secured the series win.
It was fitting that England captain Taylor was the star performer, says the Daily Telegraph. "At 34, Edwards has been around so long she is the only cricketer still playing who signed the autographed bat which was burned at Lord's in 1998 to create the modern Ashes trophy. Despite her experience, she was on the verge of tears as the end approached."
Despite the differing fortunes of the men's and women's teams in Australia this winter, The Times notes that Edwards "has never felt tempted to compare performances and results of her side with those of the England men".
"She had no wider agenda when she stressed the importance of good preparation, substantial contributions from the senior players and performing under pressure."