Random Thoughts – Women’s Ashes Test Day 3

Alex Blackwell

The Australian vice-captain took some stick on Twitter for her slow scoring rate, which at 18.5 was well below England’s much criticised rates from yesterday. (England’s lowest was Lauren Winfield’s 25.0.)

But I think Blackwell was playing the game Australia needed her to play – digging in, and giving everyone else the opportunity to express themselves around her; and as long as they were scoring runs at a lively rate (as Jonassen, scorring at 72.5 was) that’s okay.

Laura Marsh v Katherine Brunt

With England needing to force the pace of the game, bowling Laura Marsh for a quarter of the day’s overs was perhaps an “interesting” strategy. She had great economy as you’d expect, but she was never going to take wickets unless they really went after her, and it became quite clear quite quickly that Australia simply weren’t going to do so.

Of course, the question is… who else? Perhaps what England needed to do was rotate a little more between their quicks to keep them all going? It was interesting that Nicole Bolton commented afterwards that Katherine Brunt’s spells were the most hostile bowling she’d ever faced in a competitive match… and yet Brunt only bowled 9 overs. To me, that feels like a missed opportunity.

The Editor’s View

Finally today, I leave with a Random Thought from The CRICKETher Editor:

Seriously… I couldn’t have put it better myself!

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2 thoughts on “Random Thoughts – Women’s Ashes Test Day 3

  1. Plaudits to the ECB (which I admit I don’t often offer). Playing the internationals at county standard grounds with all the facilities that brings with it (floodlights, drainage, proper covers, proper equipment, manpower etc) was a very smart move.

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  2. I feel that Australia really missed a trick today. They were off the pace and quite poor at times. England have gone from having no chance at the end of play yesterday, to just having a sniff of a draw now – with the final day upon us and Australia are STILL batting.

    Here’s how things should have gone from an Australian perspective. This is neither an unfair nor an unrealistic expectation of how a potential Australian performance could have gone today, seeing how dominant they’ve been in the series (and in world cricket of late).

    In the first session, open positively, hitting England with aggression and trying to make a rate of 3-4 runs per over. Wickets are irrelevant down to at least the fifth wicket, run rate is more important. The aim is to be around 200 runs ahead after 25-30 overs so that they can declare again and get a good few overs at England today. That is how the best Australian sides play.

    If they’d scored faster, they could have, partway into second session, declared (minimum score: 93-X (where X is irrelelevant to the context of the game, not to England of course!) leaving England with a 200 target to win) and stuck us back in there and then, which we would not have been wanting, nor expecting.
    To this reasonable standard, Australia failed miserably.

    That would have required 93 runs in 30 overs of batting for Australia, hardly racing along; and left them with 8 overs to bowl at us, even with the reduced overs becuase of the rain. If they’d managed to get 2-3 quick wickets tonight, (lets face it we weren’t going to get too far into the chase at that stage) that really would have been us on the edge of defeat. As it is, they’ve left England with a real chance of the Great Escape yet again, and with the same negative cricket that they accused us of yesterday.

    With a damp outfield tomorrow morning possibly delaying the start, and the possibility of late rain a serious prospect as the clouds pull in from about 5 pm, Australia coach Matthew Mott is being very optimistic that 108 overs will be bowled. England will certainly be in no rush tomorrow. The truth is, Mott’s side missed the trick today and they’ve let England back into the game with a turgid batting display that was barely any faster than the host’s yesterday.

    Of course our bowling helped things, with Brunt’s great early spell, but I can’t help thinking the Aussies could have mixed things up more by changing the batting order or attacking Marsh’s spin.

    England now have a serious chance of a draw if they if they can see off the new ball and dig in more sucessfully in the middle session. Some sort of approach towards the target will get the Aussies thinking about defending rather than attacking which will help us more. The win would surely be unlikely though, as the Aussies can line the boundary or pack the infield, whatever is required to stop runs if we start to get close.

    Ultimately I don’t think this will define the series though, because a draw would still leave us with the mountainous task of winning the iT20 series, but Australia have showed today that they’re neither as positive nor tactically astute as they would have us believe.

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