There was a point where England were technically ahead in this 2nd T20 at Hove.
With 37 balls bowled, where England had been 36-2, Australia found themselves 35-3.
“Trouble?” asked the blogger doing ball-by-ball on Cricinfo.
Yup – big trouble… for England!
Because that 3rd wicket brought together Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry who, an hour or so later, closed out the innings on 43 and 47 not out respectively, to give the Southern Stars victory by 7 wickets with 13 balls remaining.
But where Perry had torn through England in the 3rd ODI with one of the great bowling performances of all time; and Lanning had torn not just through England, but also through her own world record book, at Chelmsford in the 1st T20; this was a more clinical… even cynical… affair.
Australia simply didn’t need to tear through anything – they just needed to score 6 runs per over, and that was all.
They didn’t even do that initially – Perry played out 3 dots to Laura Marsh, as the Aussies took just 3 off the 8th over; whilst through the 11th and 12th overs they failed to find the boundary at all.
Yet there was no panic – instead, Lanning and Perry found the gaps and ran hard, closing England down, slowly but surely.
Then the boundaries began to come too – not in a flurry, but relentlessly nonetheless – one 4 off the 13th over; one off the 14th; two off the 15th; and then a 4 and a 6 off the 16th. It was about as exciting as watching grass grow, but it was mighty effective.
England have faced bowling machines aplenty in the nets at Loughborough, but at Hove Lanning and Perry were batting machines – terminators, sent from the future to eliminate all of England’s hopes and dreams.
Listen and understand, as Reese says to Sarah Connor in The Terminator.
Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry are out there.
They can’t be bargained with.
They can’t be reasoned with.
They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear.
And they absolutely will not stop.
Until England are dead.