Not surprisingly, all the plaudits have gone to the batsmen in this series against Pakistan, but we’ve also seen some lovely bowling in the T20s from England’s left-armers. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Sophie Ecclestone to Sana Mir (2nd T20)
Sana Mir is Pakistan’s most experienced player, but seventeen-year-old Ecclestone has her for breakfast here.
Ecclestone delivers the ball from very wide of the crease, so regardless of the spin, which would normally move the ball from leg to off (right to left, as we are looking at it) this ball is heading from off to leg (left to right).
Mir’s plan is just to help it on its way by paddle-sweeping it down to fine leg – we can see she is in position with plenty of time to do this. The advantage of the paddle-sweep here is that Mir doesn’t have to worry too much about the lateral (left/ right) movement of the ball – the length of the bat has her covered.
The down-side of the paddle-sweep is that Mir has to judge the bounce perfectly, and this is where Ecclestone does her up like a kipper. This ball in fact doesn’t spin laterally at all – it is a top-spinner, so when it pitches it comes on with more bounce than Mir is expecting – she is already playing underneath it and the ball ploughs into her middle and leg stumps. Beautiful.
Tash Farrant to Nahida Khan (3rd T20)
Nahida Khan is an experienced batsman, who made her debut all the way back in 2009, but Farrant has a plan to snag her.
Although this first picture is obviously from behind the bowler’s arm, you can actually see something rather interesting – the ball, which is a slower delivery coming out of the back of Farrant’s hand. England tried a lot of these slower deliveries in the series, and they didn’t always come off, but this one is perfect.
You can see here that Nahida hasn’t picked it – because the trajectory of the ball is “normal” she thinks it is also coming on to the bat at “normal” pace, and is preparing to unleash a big shot.
But she is on to it too quickly – the ball takes a lot longer to reach her than she is expecting and by the time it does, she is horribly tucked-up as she tries to adjust – popping up a fairly straightforward catch back to the bowler. Lovely.
Alex Hartley to Bismah Maroof (3rd T20)
Bismah Maroof is Pakistan’s T20 captain and was their highest run-scorer on this tour. Meanwhile Hartley has had problems with her line to the left-handers in both the matches she has played.
Maroof is looking to assert herself against the “inexperienced” Hartley so even before the ball is bowled she has started to come aggressively down the pitch – you can see her here dancing forwards just after the moment of delivery, looking to smash it straight back down the ground.
But Hartley has spotted Maroof coming and she changes what she is going to do at the last instant – instead of a spinner, she fires in a quicker ball – forget the spin, just get it down there – and Maroof has to check her forward march!
To be fair to Maroof, she picks it and adjusts to try to push it through the leg side, but her feet aren’t in quite the right place – her bat is too late on the shot and the ball sneaks through the gate between bat and pad and she is bowled. Brilliant.
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