After losing to India last weekend in Canberra, England got their revenge in today’s rematch at the Junction Oval in Melbourne, with a 4 wicket win, despite never really getting out of second gear.
England are now in pole position in the Tri-Series. If Australia beat India tomorrow then the final group match – England v Australia on Sunday – will become academic in terms of qualification for the final next Wednesday – England and Australia will be through.
However, India aren’t out of it yet, and if they can mug the Aussies tomorrow then they could still make the final, with a 3-way tie also being a possibility if Australia then go on to beat England.
So Net Run Rate could be critical, which may mean England live to regret their lack of aggression in today’s chase, with Nat Sciver the only batsman in England’s line-up to post a Strike Rate of over 100. (Though Brunt, Beaumont and Winfield all struck at exactly 100.)
Tammy Beaumont, who has played at this ground a fair few times in WBBL, said on Player Mic that England reckoned 150-160 – around 7-8 runs per over – would be a par score today; but India ended up only just scraping past 120 thanks to a big final over in which Deepti Sharma and Arundhati Reddy socked Anya Shrubsole for 15 runs, somewhat ruining Shrubsole’s figures in the process, though she still got player of the match for her 3 wickets.
Part of the responsibility for India’s lowly total must lie with Harmanpreet, who chewed-up 23 balls for 14 runs, which you just can’t afford to do at this level; though perhaps India’s real problem is a lack of confidence in their lower order, meaning Harmanpreet feels that staying there is almost equally as important as scoring runs, especially as she backs herself to pick up her strike rate later in the innings.
Whatever the case it didn’t come off for India today, and their sub-par total probably influenced England’s approach, especially after they lost early wickets – they knew that they didn’t actually need to hit fifth gear… or even third as it turned out… to win the game, so they were generally happy to chug along at just over 6 an over, rather than motoring at 7 or 8.
Could they have scored more quickly? You’d certainly hope so! It is true that a win is a win, and I don’t think there will be too many tears if they don’t make the Tri-Series final on Net Run Rate – that’s really not what they are in Australia for.
But the other side of today’s coin is that if you can’t throw off your conservative shackles in a series which doesn’t much matter, how do you expect to do it in a World Cup final? That’s the $64,000 question which England may have to answer back in Melbourne in a month’s time.
England continues to have a problem with spinners that take the ball away from their right handers, thankfully for them India had to bowl 6 overs of off-spin in the absence of Poonam Yadav and those were the most expensive overs. I feel good teams are gonna tie them down with this tactic, should be vary of SA in their group for this reason. WI probably have only 1 leg spinner in their side. Can they play the inside out shots, have seen only Wyatt play it regularly, but she didn’t last long enough to do it in all 3 matches so far.
I think most teams have a problem with bowlers “that take the ball away from their right handers”. The new coach is trying to address that by offering a lifeline to a left-hander (Eve Jones) previously (incorrectly in my view) abandoned by the setup. Wyatt’s offside focus is something of an anomaly, although you’re right it probably shouldn’t be.
I don’t especially rate SA in T20s. The’re not bad, but better in ODIs really. We racked up 250 against them in 2018.
Some teams seem to be scoring freely against them, India and Australia for example. Having a good left hander at the top obviously helps, but even their right handers set themselves better against left arm spinners.
SA is struggling in T20s in NZ now after a good start with ODI series win, they are a very on and off side and struggles to field full strength eleven most of the times with lot of injuries. As of now they are coming full strength to the WC and with WI’s lack of form should make it to the semis.
Difficult to get too excited about that match, so we’ll look ahead instead.
Big day on Sunday for Danni Wyatt (assuming she gets in to the XI).
Speaking of big days, think this match was Katherine Brunt’s 200th limited over cap.
Not one to live long in the memory but a wins a win. Is there a reason Katherine Brunt was batting three? I could understand the strategy if England lacked power at the top of the order but surely Tammy Beaumont or Heather Knight would be a better option? Batting Beaumont so low doesn’t seem like the best use of her talents.
On the selection, England seem to be leaning towards using Nat Sciver as the third seamer and having Lauren Winfield as the extra batter. A bit harsh on Freya Davies but having someone like Winfield who is good in the ‘finisher’ role may way prove useful.
This was a good fightback from England in both innings to win. It would be great if we could start some more innings well at the moment, with either a strong opening partnership or getting early wickets in the powerplay. Or both, preferably. But it was nice seeing both Brunt and Shrubsole being at it again.
A great win for India too against Australia last night. The Aussies are in danger of missing out on their own party and haven’t had it all their own way, for once. If they beat England tonight and all 3 teams end up on 4 points, the side that doesn’t get through to the final will count themselves very unlucky. This has been a very tight Tri-series that’s for sure, much closer than I was expecting. England (and India, I think) have achieved a lot of what they wanted, with 2 solid wins and some very competitive performances. Both might be satisfied already but Australia certainly won’t be.
England’s performances so far have given them only a very small amount of wriggle room though. Obviously England go through to the final if they win tonight. They can’t beat Australia twice though can they?! How much can England afford to lose by and still go through on Net Run Rate?
It appears to me they have something like (roughly) a NRR advantage over India worth about the equivalent of an over or so. So, if they bat first and Australia take at least 19 overs chasing it down, England should go through. If England chase they need to get within about 7 runs of the target. I think. The latter option sounds tougher, so it might be an idea to bat first if the opportunity presents itself. It’s not really much, so if Australia win comfortably England are definitely out.
It’s been a nice series though. The final should be interesting, whoever’s playing.