[WATCH] England spinner Sophie Ecclestone becomes the youngest and quickest woman to reach 100 T20I wickets

England v Australia - Women
Sophie Ecclestone is congratulated as Ashleigh Gardener is dismissed. (Pic: Getty Images)

England left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone created history on Wednesday by becoming the youngest and quickest woman to reach 100 T20I wickets. She achieved the feat when she dismissed Ashleigh Gardner (9) caught and bowled in the second T20I of the Women’s Ashes 2023 against Australia at Kennington Oval in London.

Ecclestone is now the 10th female cricketer to claim 100 or more T20I scalps. Australia’s Megan Schutt and Pakistan’s Nida Dar are the joint-leading wicket-takers in women’s T20Is, with 126 scalps apiece. After 72 matches, Ecclestone has 101 wickets to her name at an average of 15.21 and an economy rate of 5.81.

The 24-year-old registered figures of 2/35 in the second T20I against Australia as the hosts won the game by three runs to square the three-match series 1-1. Apart from Gardner, Ecclestone also dismissed Jess Jonassen for 6 as England held Australia to 183/8, defending a target of 187.

Australia made a decent start in their chase as openers Alyssa Healy (37) and Beth Mooney (22) added 59 in 6.2 overs. However, they lost their way and slipped to 96/5. Ellyse Perry hammered an unbeaten 51 off 27, while Annabel Sutherland contributed 20 off 13. However, the chasing side fell just short as Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn claimed two wickets each.

Earlier, batting first, England put up 186/9 on the board as Danni Wyatt smashed 76 in only 46 balls, a knock that featured 13 fours. Sophia Dunkley, Nat Sciver-Brunt, and Ecclestone all chipped in with 20s. For Australia, Sutherland picked up 3/28 and Gardner 2/39.

“Proud of the way the girls played but we've got more in the tank” - England captain

After the win, England captain Heather Knight said that she was proud of her girls, asserting they have more left in the tank.

She commented:

“What a game in front of pretty much a full house. Proud of the way the girls played but we've got more in the tank.”

Praising Player of the Match Wyatt, she added:

“Just her maturity and experience came to fruition. She doesn't get the credit for being a very smart cricketer.”

Knight was also pleased with the bowling performance and commented:

“[Charlie] Dean could bowl at all stages, bowled very well in the powerplay. Our bowling unit, with Nat [Sciver-Brunt] coming back, was our strongest. Execution we can do a little better. Winning at our 80 percent feels good.”

The third and final T20I of the series will be played at Lord’s on Saturday, July 8.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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