Random Thoughts – Women’s Ashes 3rd T20

Live Wyatt

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote that Danni Wyatt was Mark Robinson’s Biggest Challenge Yet – she had just come off the back of a poor series against Sri Lanka, making scores of 4, 4 and 0 against the weakest of the “top” sides in the women’s international game, and was surely heading (again) for the last-chance saloon.

But just as he did with Tammy Beaumont, Mark Robinson kept believing in her, and today he got his reward. It wasn’t “just” 100 off 57 balls – a Strike Rate of 175 – it was the pressure she did it under: England were 30-3 at the end of the PowerPlay – their own mums wouldn’t have given them a prayer, staring down the barrel of a Required Rate of over 10-an-over at that stage in the game; but what followed was quite literally history, as England recorded the highest ever successful run-chase in a women’s T20 international.

What’s Next To The Mooney

[I think that’s enough AC/DC song title puns now – Ed.]

Spare a thought though for Beth Mooney – she played the innings of her career – the highest women’s international T20 score ever against a “top” side – and in some ways a better “cricket” innings than Wyatt, who took her usual share of risks; but then saw it eclipsed by Wyatt, as (if we are honest) her team mates threw it away with a hat-full of awful-looking dropped catches – yes, the lights were clearly a factor; but at a professional level, that shouldn’t really be an excuse these days.

Powerage?

[Ok… that’s it – you’re grounded – Ed.]

It will be interesting to see if this game, and indeed this T20 series, marks the start of a new dawn for women’s international T20 cricket, where the “power game” comes to the fore? We are going to be watching a lot of T20 cricket in the next year or so, leading up to the World T20 in the West Indies next autumn, with England playing not one but two T20 Tri-Series – v South Africa & New Zealand and v Australia & India; and you can bet some other sides will be playing even more as they ramp-up to WWT20.

Before today, we only had four centuries scored in nearly 400 women’s T20Is – we’ve just added another two to make it six – how many will it be this time next year? My guess is as good as yours; but if it is still six this time next year, I’ll be very surprised!

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26 thoughts on “Random Thoughts – Women’s Ashes 3rd T20

  1. At last a brilliant Red Rose comes to the fore in the diminutive form of
    Dani “Waggy” Wyatt. As Syd states above often out in the cold, but she is surely now a certainty for 20 and 50 overs, and maybe even Test side (whenever the next test is scheduled).
    Admittedly we had a bit of help with abysmal catching attempts by the Aussies, but the girls made the most of it.
    One little cause for concern was the apparent nonchalance of Tammy Beaumont and Sarah Taylor who gave wickets away (apparently) cheaply.
    In addition Nat Sciver has fallen way short of her expectations of a couple of years ago both with bat and ball.
    The overall bowling too was a bit without thought at times, but that may have been due to the pressure built up by Beth Mooney and co.
    But on the plus side we drew the series and who knows what could have happened if we had won one of the 50 over games?

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      • In response to Paul B, it refers to the Red Rose of England of which Danni is now a vital contributor. Great performance!
        The Vipers must be overjoyed with her success, as we all are.

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  2. I can’t believe what I was watching. That has probably eclipsed the T20 World Cup Semi-Final chase at the Oval when we chased 163. Australia dropped 4 sitters but that’s cricket in much the same way that crap umpiring is. As an advert for women’s cricket it was sensational (if you ignore the Aussie catching). Mooney was simply magnificent and should have been player of the match (she scored 17 more runs than Wyatt and wasn’t dropped). Wyatt was also magnificent and I rue the fact I didn’t place a bet on her hitting England’s first ever T20 century (what would have been the odds?)

    England are really going to rue the weather that wrecked their warm ups because they were caught cold in the first 2 ODIs and that cost them the series.

    T20 wise its World Cup next November. England still have some work to do in T20, not least finding an opening partnership that can do a 50-0 at the end of the powerplay, but they should take some confidence from this chase that they have the capability to chase anything.

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  3. Wow I can’t wait to see the highlights…

    I can’t believe we actually managed to chase that total down!

    Great batting performance if not a great bowling one but with Mooney being at her best, it was an incredible match!

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  4. Fantastically well played Danni Wyatt and Heather Knight and a great result.But I have to say that was the worst fielding display I have seen by an International Team cricket team for many years,Apart from the 4 absolute sitters dropped by the Australia Team their ground fielding was really poor as well.As soon as Healy dropped her first catch it seemed to drain the confidence from the Aussie team.Poor captaincy as well when Perry still has 2 0vers to bowl at the end.Beth Mooneys innings was superb as well and I think she was a bit unlucky not to be MOM,but you need to be on the winning side.

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      • I’m not sure about being captain. I think Haynes did a pretty decent job, and she can hardly be held responsible for her team’s butter-fingers! I was surprised that she didn’t feature at all in the T20s though. She may not be a “slogger” but she’s a level head and may well have been able to see them through the wobble in the second game, for example.

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  5. What an incredible match! Mooney’s innings was absolutely amazing, the way she hit the ball was special and her ability through the off side and down the ground as well, also the way she kept going was remorseless and remarkable. I think England’s bowlers got it a bit wrong at times, Shrubsole and Gunn gave away a few too many runs but the spinners did OK. Brunt bowling in the middle overs now is a tactic that seems to work well, I like it, and it’s getting improved results. It was an absolute road of a pitch, so a total of over 160 was probably needed. The fielding was pretty good generally with only a couple of big errors, but extra runs were limited.

    Still, there wasn’t much hope for me, going into the break with a total of 179 to chase down, and Mooney’s knock – historically most women’s sides win after one of their batsmen score a T20 century! And it was a record-breaking chase needed. We’re told that England can’t chase, so there seemed little reason to be optimistic.
    That feeling only increased with England 30-3 and the top order decimated. Beaumont and Taylor had gone cheaply and Sciver was run out, after being guilty of trying to over-hit the ball, and taking on a suicidal single. England’s last hope, seemingly, was a partnership between Wyatt and Knight. Both had played nicely of late and maybe, just maybe if they could both post 50s, England could put on a respectable effort and get somewhere near that mammoth total.

    They did far better than that. Wyatt was a dynamo, running furiously between the wickets and hitting eveything better than I’ve ever seen her do. She did not try to overhit the ball but played very aggressively, mainly in the V, eschewing sweeps and paddles for straight and off-side hits where she repeatedly went inside-out over and through the covers and point. Knight’s contribution shouldn’t be forgotten either. Always in the game for England, she’d been on the wrong end of a couple of shockers from the umpires in this Ashes series, but played a timely innings, nicely mixing rotation of strike with some big hits particularly on the off-side, with one superbly struck 6 over cover being particularly memorable. In fact, if the third ODI was a sweeping masterclass from England, this was an “inside-out over cover” masterclass. Wyatt’s promotion to opener in the T20 series was a resounding success. She plays well in Australia, I think, because she plays in an Australian fashion, with more straight hitting rather than paddles and sweeps. Mooney’s inning shared that feature too.

    How the Aussies let themselves down in the field though! They could have easily kept England from winning, but a succession of dropped chances, including 2 off Knight that definitely should have been taken, meant that they could only take a wicket with a run-out, but England were virtually home by that point anyway. Jonassen bowled well but Schutt and Wellington had off-days with the ball, and the running order of bowlers and the distribution of their overs seemed wrong. Haynes tried 7 bowlers, but only 1 completed her full allocation.

    Even the late wobbles brought on by a mini-collapse right at the end couldn’t dampen the spirits, and England made it over the line with a full over to spare. It was a brilliant batting display and a far-cry from the disjointed and dejected-looking side we’d seen in too many previous England chases. Let’s not pretend it was an absolutely brilliant series, but with 3 wins apiece, the Aussies only retain the trophy by dint of their series win in 2015, over an England side that look inferior in quite a few ways to the side we saw out there today. After having to play catch up following a slow start (partly due to lack of warm-ups!), England scored points in 4 of the last 5 games and did very well to claw it back to 8-8. You can’t deny the side’s spirit!

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  6. Well, that was a bit bloody good, wasn’t it?!

    Frustratingly I had to make do with TMS again today (albeit their coverage was up to the usual high standard) and doubly frustrating that I didn’t think to record it before leaving home this morning. Ah well…

    179-2 suggests some question marks over the England bowling, but when England then chase it down with an over to spare perhaps credit should go to both sets of batters and a good T20 pitch. The purists among us may wince a little at a “slog-fest” but the fans come to see 4s and 6s and many youngsters will have gone home rhapsodising about what they saw. In the long run that can only be good for the game.

    Beth Mooney’s innings will draw praise but I wonder if the key moment of the series was running herself out on Sunday? Why oh why? It seems England weren’t going to get her out any other way.

    As for Danni Wyatt, one has to hope this is a huge “coming of age” for a player who hasn’t taken all her chances in the past – with the caveat that many of those chances have come in difficult situations. Another example of MR trusting his gut about a player others may have written off. She can come across as a bit dizzy sometimes (dare one even say a bit “blonde”), but I’ve always felt there was a very intelligent cricketer bursting to get out.

    The other player who should take a lot of credit is the skipper. Four 50s in the series, a pivotal role in 2 of England’s 3 wins, plus the key component in saving the Test. Her captaincy hasn’t always been flawless but in a tight race I think she’s just edged Rachel Haynes. Megan Schutt can feel a little hard done by, though, not to be named Player of the Series.

    As for Australia, it’s impossible to know how much they relaxed with the Ashes regained. Sunday’s match seemed to unravel too easily at times, right from Gardner’s brain fade on the second ball. Today should have been different with the series win up for grabs but the impression is that they wilted under a little pressure in much the way England have been prone to do.

    Ultimately there really hasn’t been much between the teams. A fine series! Looking forward to more of the same in 2019!

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  7. Also, is it just me, or does Matthew Mott have a bit of an issue?

    First he blames England for their slow scoring in the Test, when Australia were significantly slower for much of their innings – not really sure how he can accuse one side of playing for the draw when his own team did nothing at all to force a result (granted, they didn’t necessarily need to do so).

    And then after yesterday’s game…

    “To me, it’s a just a series of missed opportunity. I think we’re the better cricket team, but we can’t really say that because it ended up 8-all.”

    Churlish? Or am I making too much of it?

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    • I find Mott to be rather obstinate and obstructive in interviews. He’ll say anything to big up up the Aussies and make England look bad while avoiding answering what he doesn’t want to talk about.. You don’t get much insight from him unlike from Robinson who’s more even-handed and amenable. Mott’s probably trying to take any heat away from his team, but I’d rather hear from the players to be honest.

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  8. On a different subject, sad to see the Women’s Cricket Blog come to an end.
    I have not always agreed with Martin Davies comments, but he has provided a very, very valuable vehicle to push awareness of all Women’s Cricket.
    I hope this can be maintained and driven on by new methods.
    Maybe on this format……….?

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  9. To be fair to Martin his commentary was always going to ‘push buttons’ in what has been such a close knit cricketing community for so long.

    Now the game is moving on quickly and with professionalism comes the inevitable media buffer developed between professionals and the County / Club scene.

    We need a forum for fans of the women’s game, some of whom are close too or even involved in the women’s cricket space to have informed and sometimes critical conversations.

    Hopefully Crickether can inform and challenge the women’s and girls cricket establishment. The recent success of the national team should not hide a struggling grass roots game. Its the same for both genders at club level but the women’s game needs a strategy & profile of its own to address issues or lose out to hockey, netball and football for the best athletes.

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    • I’m a relative latecomer to this website, and to Martin’s blog, compared to some posters, so perhaps I’m less qualified to comment. However, over the years that the women’s game has not enjoyed the popularity it does now, there has probably been a tendency amongst its followers to be a bit over-protective. We always want to be positive, to portray the game in the best possible light.

      I would liken it to raising a child. Any parent wants to nurture it’s offspring, encourage it, be positive, defend it from things that might harm it in any way. But at the same time, as it grows older, we have to become a little tougher, more honest about the pitfalls and shortcomings.

      Women’s cricket in the professional era is that tricky teenager. It won’t always get things right, it will occasionally have you putting your hands over your eyes in mild embarrassment, and now and then you will want to give it a damn good shake and tell it to wake up, for God’s sake! But you can’t shy away from that, and although it will work out in the long run sometimes it will cause family ructions for a while.

      From what I’ve read Martin has always tried to be honest. Where others may have seen him as quick to criticise at times, I have seen somebody writing from the heart, with a passion and belief that there is ALWAYS room for improvement, and with a fervent desire not to let the women’s game ever be satisfied with where it is. It is only by those of us who will always support the game (that’s everybody from players, coaches and administrators, down to the journalists, bloggers and humble paying spectators) being honest when necessary that the game will continue to drive itself to higher and higher standards.

      (PS. Apologies to Syd and Raf for perpetuating the severe drift away from the subject of the original column!)

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      • I should have added that during its teenage years a child will give you many, many moments of pleasure, far outweighing the more difficult days. That has certainly been the case in 2017!

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  10. If you want to see the England Womens Team winning The Ashes tune into Sky Sports Cricket at 5pm this afternoon for the “How the Womens Ashes was won in 2013” programme

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  11. Still a lot of work to be underneath but what a great year and turnaround from the debacle of the last Ashes.
    It was interesting to read the normal doom and gloom from the obvious people after the loss of the first T20, only for it all to be proved rubbish 2 games later. England are not as Heather said perfect but they are courageous and deserve all the credit they get.

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    • England were 100% committed,talented,skillful,courageous under Charlotte Edwards leadership when they won the Ashes in 2013 at The Aegeas Bowl,Southampton and also when they regained them at The Bellerive Oval,Hobart in 2014.In the 2015 Ashes Series in England the eventual difference between England and Australia the narrowest margin of just 2 points as The Aussies won the 20/20 game at Hove,which England should have won failing to chase down a low total.Apart from the Test Match in the 2015 Ashes Series England won the ODI Series 2-1 and the T20 Series 2-1(Better results than in the Ashes Series just finished in Canberra),so there is no way it was a debacle in 2015.

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      • England actually lost the ODI series 2-1 in 2015, and in a bad way with a poor chase at Bristol (I was there) and a lamentable capitulation at Worcester in the 3rd ODI where we were bowled out for 160-odd. And in the Canterbury Test, the batting was much worse with only one or two fighting innings, even a draw never looked on. Although we weren’t great at times in the 2nd ODI and 1st T20 in the Ashes just finished, there were far more bright points and more spirit shown than in 2015. The argument that England were just as good then doesn’t really stand up.

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  12. The most important question for now is, “ What is the best way forward?”
    The present squad has potential for greater things, we shall have to wait and see. What is more worrying is what effect the Kia Super League/England commitments and perpetual training will have on decent, competitive cricket for the players who are left.
    What quality competition will they face?
    This is aimed at those who compete regularly for their counties and club teams in the Premier and Championship leagues.
    I hope the ”powers that be..” are aware of the potential dilemma for players, teams and clubs involved.

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