Australia 218 for 6 (Perry 62, Mooney 43*) beat England 217 (Beaumont 114, Kimmince 5 for 26) by four wickets
Australia took an early grip on this Women's Ashes contest, completing a difficult chase with ominous efficiency to move 2-0 up in the ODI leg and claim another two points. Tammy Beaumont shone for England with a maiden Ashes hundred but England's innings listed badly as Delissa Kimmince claimed 5 for 26 and Australia then marched to victory on the back of Ellyse Perry's half-century and some composed finishing from Beth Mooney and Jess Jonassen.
It could have been worse for England, who saw Katherine Brunt helped from the field after twisting her ankle celebrating the wicket of Meg Lanning - though she was later able to return and bowl. However, they also might have had cause to question a tight stumping call that went Perry's way on 4, despite not seeming to have any boot clearly grounded behind the line. Had the decision gone in favour of wicketkeeper Amy Jones, deputising after Sarah Taylor was sidelined by a "niggle", Australia would have been 22 for 3.
Despite losing both openers inside three overs, Australia showed greater collective purpose on a used pitch that was never easy to score on but did not deteriorate significantly. Perry and Rachael Haynes put on 53 for the fourth wicket to ease concerns after Brunt had bowled captain Lanning with a perfectly executed slower ball, before the seventh-wicket pair of Mooney and Jonassen banished any thought of a nervous finish to match the first ODI with a brisk 60-run stand.
With Brunt limping off, England's confidence in their ability to defend a middling target seemed to ebb. Haynes took on the slow bowlers, lofting the only six of the match off Sophie Ecclestone and using her feet well to hit down the ground; Perry was more orthodox, waiting for anything short or overpitched to pounce on as she brought up her 27th ODI half-century.
Although Haynes fell to a smart caught-and-bowled by Laura Marsh, and Perry nicked a wide long-hop from Shrusbole, England could not quite force the door down. Ashleigh Gardner played around a cutter from Shrubsole to raise hopes again but Jonassen struck her third and sixth balls for four to signal her intent.
England now find themselves 4-0 down in the points-based Ashes, needing to win the series outright. "We've done it before, going to have to turn it around very quickly," Heather Knight, England's captain, said. "It's a massive game down in Canterbury [venue for the third ODI]."
That they were in this contest at all was largely down to Beaumont, who became the first Englishwoman to score a century in an ODI against Australia since Sarah Taylor in 2009 (and the first by anyone not called Taylor since 1993). Although she said afterwards she "never felt in", Beaumont managed to go at almost a run a ball while scoring more than half of England's runs; the only one of her team-mates to come close to matching her fluency was Danni Wyatt, who made 25 off 25 balls.
Although England again lost Jones in the second over to Perry, there was no repeat of the top-order collapse that undermined them in the first game. Knight struggled to find scoring opportunities in her 17 off 47, but she shored up one end as Beaumont found her groove during a partnership worth 65.
After Knight's dismissal, trying to hit Gardner over the top, Beaumont raised a half-century from 44 balls. Having used Perry's pace to get away several early boundaries, she lofted Jonassen down the ground and then took to relying on the paddle sweep against the spinners, scoring a significant proportion of her runs behind square on the leg side as Australia declined to plug the gap.
Nat Sciver became the first of Kimmince's victims, trapped lbw by one that skidded on, and Fran Wilson did not last long but Wyatt showed good purpose in helping put on another useful alliance with Beaumont. They had put England on course for what seemed like a score in the region of 250, but Wyatt was well caught by Alyssa Healy standing up to Megan Schutt and Beaumont fell in the following over, dragging on attempting a reverse-swat through the off side.
Two wickets in eight balls allowed Australia to squeeze in the field, with England unable to find the boundary after the 38th over. Kimmince returned to bowl a miserly line at the death, picking up Brunt and Shrusbole in the same over and then two in two balls to finish the innings with her maiden international five-for, as England lost their last four wickets for six runs and with 2.2 overs left unbowled.