|Women’s Ashes: Second one-day international, Coffs Harbour|
|Australia 296-6 (50 overs): Haynes 89*, Perry 67, Bolton 66, Healy 56; Gunn 4-55|
|England 209 (42.2 overs): Brunt 52; Schutt 4-26|
|Australia beat England by 75 runs (DLS method) & lead points-based series 4-0|
Australia took a four-point lead in the Women’s Ashes series with a commanding win over England in the second one-day international at Coffs Harbour.
Skipper Rachael Haynes, dropped on 60, hit a career-best 89 in 56 balls as the hosts added 94 in the last 10 overs in their 296-6, having been asked to bat.
England were then handed a revised target of 285 in 46 overs after rain.
But they were bowled out for 209, losing by 75 runs on the DLS method, as Katherine Brunt made a maiden fifty.
With each limited-overs match worth two points for a victory, it is a positive start from Australia to the defence of the Ashes title they won in 2015, with the final ODI taking place on Sunday, also at Coffs Harbour.
The one-off Test at the North Sydney Oval next month is worth four points to the winner and the series ends with three Twenty20 internationals.
Australia, for whom eight points in the series would be enough to retain the Ashes, were given an excellent platform by openers Nicole Bolton (66) and Alyssa Healy (56), who shared an opening partnership of 98 in 20 overs.
Ellyse Perry survived a return chance to Brunt on 41 and accelerated superbly, particularly strong on the leg side and looking set for a maiden international century before she was smartly stumped by Sarah Taylor for 67 off 76 balls in the 46th over.
Left-hander Haynes combined powerful hitting down the ground with some deft strokeplay but was badly spilled at deep mid-wicket on 60 by Tammy Beaumont.
Leading from the front in the absence of regular captain Meg Lanning, who will miss the series through injury, Haynes lofted the next ball imperiously down the ground for six in a Brunt over which cost 21.
With the Australians in full flow, it needed a two-wicket final over from the persistent Jenny Gunn (4-55) to keep them under 300 in the day-night fixture.
Thunder drifted towards the picturesque Coffs Harbour ground in the latter stages of the Australia innings and a torrential downpour containing hailstones arrived in the interval, delaying the England reply.
When it began, Lauren Winfield was trapped lbw third ball playing across the line to Megan Schutt and after further rain produced a new target, opening partner Beaumont, the top scorer at this year’s World Cup, fell in similar fashion.
In only the sixth over, Australia were deprived of the bowling of Perry, who struggled with the damp ball and was barred for sending down successive high full tosses over waist height, but replacement Tahlia McGrath claimed the key wicket of Sarah Taylor for 26, her first in international cricket, to end a useful 57-run partnership with Knight (36).
Nat Sciver and Knight soon fell in successive overs and despite a defiant stand of 68 between the aggressive Brunt (52) and Fran Wilson – ended by a superb diving catch running in from the boundary by Perry – the World Cup winners slid to an inevitable defeat.