Australia started their women’s Ashes campaign with a win in a low-scoring One-day International in Leicester on Tuesday. Led by all-rounder Ellyse Perry’s bowling effort, the Southern Stars beat England by two wickets in the thriller in what was the first match of the multi-format series.

Perry (3/43) and Megan Schutt (2/19) reduced England for 19/4 in under six overs. Natalie Sciver then led a fightback with her 64 taking the hosts to reach 177. Lower-order bat Sophie Ecclestone was the second-highest scorer with 27, before starring with the ball.

Alyssa Healy led the chase with a solid 66 even as wickets fell at the other end. Sarah Taylor’s stumping of Perry was a moment of magic for England.

Australia looked to be in trouble after Laura Marsh dismissed Healy in the 26th over. A solid spell from Ecclestone (3/34) piled on the pressure before Delissa Kimmince guided them home. The next ODI will be on Thursday.