Tammy Beaumont was no doubt disappointed to get out in the way that she did today, with replays suggesting that the lbw decision against her was a poor one; but it was probably actually a blessing in disguise for England – she’s hit a ton of runs this series already and it was good for some of the other batsmen to get some time at the crease, without any artificial adjustments to the batting order.
Having not played in an England shirt for five years, the pressure was massively on for Fran Wilson coming in when she did – she could easily have buckled under it. Credit to her, then, that she kept her head and, having taken a bit of time to get going, really anchored England’s innings with her 43*. With tough competition at the moment, I think she’s earned her spot for the next match and beyond.
Pakistan generally looked a much tighter fielding unit today (the throwing-the-ball-over-my-head boundary aside). Debutant Aiman Anwer seemed to point the way with her brilliant catch at long off to dismiss Lauren Winfield, off a shot that on any other match of this tour would have been six for sure. Consequently England found it a lot tougher to score boundaries – only 13 fours and 1 six today, despite the short distance to the rope – and at one point it did actually seem like Pakistan might have a shot at reaching the required total.
It was wonderful to see the way Pakistan came out and attacked right from the get-go today. I’d much rather see them bowled out having died trying; and that was certainly the approach this afternoon. It was also a positive move to see Asmavia Iqbal – who has looked their best batsman on this tour – promoted up the order to 5. Of course they still need to avoid playing recklessly across the line to straight balls, but still, there was actually a frisson of competitiveness out there today. It just goes to show how important matches against top opposition are for sides like Pakistan, to ensure they keep improving. More please!
If there’s anyone cursed with bad luck, it’s surely Danni Wyatt. She’s barely had the chance to face a ball this summer; and in the last game she was run out at the non-striker’s end on 0, having been sent back by Heather Knight. Today she was out caught and bowled to a ball of Bismah Maroof’s that was hit so firm and fully that it really deserved to be 4; only a stonking catch saved it from being so. Having said that, one element of her game that isn’t anything to do with luck – her fielding – was yet again excellent. I wouldn’t ever want to be the one running to the end that Wyatt is throwing at.