|ICC Championship||Played||Won||Lost||Tied / N/R||Points||Max*|
* Max = maximum possible points achievable.
England will finish in 2nd place in the Women’s International Championship after rain washed out the final match of their ODI series with Pakistan in Kuala Lumpur, with none of the side below them able to get more than their 29 points.
As we stand, India now also appear all-but certain to automatically qualify for the World Cup, with the latest gossip from ICC Towers suggesting that the points are looking likely to be shared between them and Pakistan for their unplayed series. (Last time around, the ICC awarded all the points to Pakistan, but the rules have been tweaked since then, with the BCCI now able to argue that it was outside their control, because it was the Indian government (not the BCCI) that prevented the series going ahead.)
Finally, this also means that South Africa need just two more wins from their 6 remaining matches against New Zealand and Australia to join the automatic qualification party, so you’d think it will probably (but by no means certainly, yet) be Pakistan who will join Sri Lanka and the Windies at the qualifiers.
But I digress…
England won the toss again, for the third time in the series, and opted to bowl this time. Perhaps they were just bored with batting? Or perhaps they had seen the forecast and wanted to chase in a potential Duckworth-Lewis situation?
Pakistan got off to a good start – Nahida and Javeria trotting along at 6 an over, until the introduction of Freya Davies, making her ODI debut, in the 9th over. Davies began by bowling a maiden to Javeria, keeping it full on middle / middle-and-leg stumps; and went on to concede just 7 runs in her first spell – bowling just one bad ball in 4 overs. A second spell saw her finish with 0-19 off 7 overs – an Economy Rate of just 2.71, having made a really impressive start to her ODI career.
The one thing Davies didn’t get was a wicket in reward for her efforts – they were all going into Sarah Glenn’s bag, as she picked up a 4fer in her 3rd ODI. If she’s honest… and I’m sure she will be, because the best players generally are… Glenn will likely admit that this was actually not the best she has bowled in the series – there were a few loose deliveries, and she was a tad fortunate to end up with an Economy Rate even lower than Davies at 2.25 – better batsmen would have punished her in the runs column. However, you can’t argue with the wickets – the last in particular was a beauty which turned just enough to pass the bat and clip off stump.
Anya Shrubsole also grabbed 3 wickets, including two-in-two, and was looking dangerous for more with her inswingers before the rain came down with Pakistan 145-8. Shrubsole’s assured place in the side is actually under a bit of pressure for the first time in several years, with Brunt still doing what she does, Cross bowling sharply, and now Davies making a case too; but Shrubsole is a big game player and England will want that in Australia, so it was a good time for her to find some form.
We now move on to the T20s next week – Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Perhaps expect Glenn to be given a rest and Kirstie Gordon to get the chance to have a crack at the Pakistani batsmen for the first time on this tour, as England play their final matches before selection for the T20 World Cup. (They will play a tri-series v Australia and India prior to the World Cup, but the squad will be the same.)
Glenn, whom I was seeing for the first time, may have occasionally been wayward, but her wicket-taking deliveries were superb: exactly what a leg spinner should be doing. Bowling over the wicket, close to the stumps, pitching it on middle and leg, with lovely flight and dip, and gripping off the pitch. I didn’t see/notice any googlies; does she have that in her armoury? Would also like to shout out for Ecclestone, who again did a good job, although I suspect if she bowled over the wicket at off stump she might be a more dangerous prospect.
Pakistan confirmed my claim about their batting in the last match: they don’t have depth to their batting, and once their top order is gone, against a good team like England they have no ability to mount a rear guard action.
Good result for England (the series, not the game), and I am now looking forward to the T20s.
Both the spinners bowled well. Like most leggies, Sarah Glenn bowls the occasional full toss but she generally bowls wicket to wicket and her ability to flight the ball gave the Pakistani batters all sorts of problems. Sophie Ecclestone bowled better than her figures suggested but the Pakistani batters didn’t play the spinners well. They play off the back foot and cross batted getting them into all sorts of trouble.
A solid outing for Freya Davies bowling full and straight which Brunt, Shrubsole (in her first spell) and Sciver didn’t do. The only thing missing was a wicket.