Aussie women eye one-day cricket prize

Regaining the Ashes is their prime objective, but the Australian women’s cricket team are focused on the one-day prize heading into Sunday’s limited-overs decider against England.

The destination of the Ashes will be determined by points accumulated across all formats, three ODIs, a one-off Test and three T20 matches.

With the teams splitting the first two ODIs, the victor of Sunday’s game in Worcester will take an advantage into the Test, which is worth double points for the winner as opposed to the games in the other two formats.

World ODI champions Australia are currently leading the ICC women’s championship and haven’t lost a limited-overs series since their last visit to England two years ago.

In the short term, securing the ODI series is the immediate priority for the Southern Stars.

“Yeah definitely, just take it a format at a time,” pace bowler Megan Schutt told AAP.

“There’s time in between each change of format to refocus and reset goals, so we’re just focusing on what comes on Sunday and then we’ll move on to the Test.”

Rather like their male counterparts, Australia started their Ashes campaign poorly with an opening game loss, but hit back hard in game two with a 63-run win.

“I think we’re only going to get better as the series progresses, so hopefully we can keep improving in every area and keep winning,” Schutt said.

She was one of the heroines of Australia’s second game win in Bristol.

Schutt took 4-47, bowling England captain and opener Charlotte Edwards and then picked up a wicket in three successive overs in her decisive final spell.

It was the second straight four wicket ODI performance by Schutt, who took 4-18 against the West Indies in Bowral last November.

She missed out on selection in the Ashes opener, but was recalled for game two.

“To try and choose a playing 11 would be quite difficult with everyone being in good form,” Schutt said.

“Obviously it was disappointing (not to be selected for the first game), but you don’t take these things to heart.

“You want the team to do well, so you just suck it up and support them.”

Schutt is no stranger to English conditions, having made the 2013 Ashes tour, in which she took just one wicket in three ODIs, and then played for county side Nottinghamshire for four months last year.

Australia haven’t played an ODI at Worcester, but have won two and lost just one of five Tests played there.

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