Game Set & Match?
With two games played, the Australians are already 4-0 up in this Women’s Ashes series, so (assuming all matches are completed) England now need to win the Test and three of the four remaining limited overs games to bring home the trophy which started life in a wok at Lords, back in 1998.
Can they do it? Yes, of course they can – England haven’t become a bad team overnight!
Will they? Um… let’s just say it doesn’t look as easy as it did this time last week!
England: Taking The Positives
- England didn’t bowl too badly; and Sophie Ecclestone looked “born to run”, bowling 10 overs and going at under 5 runs per over, the only England bowler to do so.
- Katherine Brunt passed 50 for only the second time in her long international career – fully 12 years after the first – an Ashes Test at Worcester, way back in 2005, when she came in at 10 and batted for over two hours, putting on 85 for England’s final 1st innings wicket in partnership with Isa Guha.
- Alex Hartley still hasn’t been dismissed in international cricket. And she took a very good catch to dismiss Tahlia McGrath, proving that she really isn’t a complete numpty! (Not pointing fingers, but it is telling that when Katherine Brunt dropped a pretty straightforward Caught & Bowled, it was all “There are no easy catches!” and “It happens – move on!”; whereas when Alex Hartley did it, it was more like “That was easy!” and “She’s rubbish – drop her!”)
England: Taking The … Not Quite So Positives
- If Hartley’s catch was good, Knight’s to dismiss Villani was even better, but Villani and McGrath were both dismissed on 1; and when it really mattered (Perry, on 41; and Haynes on 60) England dropped two relatively unexacting chances. Perry went on to make 67, and Haynes 89 – that’s 55 runs gone begging, which wouldn’t quite have won the game, but would have made it a damn sight closer!
- Brunt’s dismissal – That’s a paddlin’! Gunn’s dismissal – That’s a paddlin’! Wrap us up in woolly socks and call us Granddad, but sometimes the paddle-sweep isn’t the right shot to play… and those sometimes are ALL THE TIME when you are trying to save the game with only the tail still to come.
- Last time out, none of England’s batsmen exactly “failed” – they just didn’t “succeed” by going big or long. This time around, several of them failed, whilst none of them (the “recognised” batsmen) went big or long. We’re not calling for anyone to be dropped or anything at this stage in the series; but even with the best bowling in the world, if we don’t make the runs we won’t win too many matches.
Australia definitely “won” this game more than England “lost” it – 4 of their top 5 batsmen made 50s, and their innings was perfectly paced – building and building towards a total which was probably always going to be a bit too much for England, even without the dropped catches.
And then they finished England off with the ball, without Ellyse Perry, who it looks like didn’t deserve to be taken off – though she didn’t appear to realise this, as she didn’t even wait for the umpire’s say-so before reaching for her cap. But it seems that the playing conditions override the laws – so although the laws have changed to say that a delivery only has to be “high” for the bowler to be warned and then subsequently taken off; the playing conditions say that it also has to be “dangerous”, which the second of Perry’s deliveries really wasn’t.