England ‘A’ flew back from Australia yesterday after a tough few weeks against their Australian counterparts. The first T20 was a close match – Alice Capsey hit 44 off 31 ball as England ‘A’ set the hosts 129 to chase, which they did with just 3 balls to spare.
But it was largely downhill from there. Australia won the 2nd T20 easily, and though England did set them 158-7 in the final T20, with Eve Jones and Emma Lamb both hitting fifties before the rain came and washed out any chance of a result, it went from bad to worse in the One Dayers, with the Aussies running out easy winners in all 3 games.
Nonetheless, as cliched as it might seem, it is important to take the positives from a tour like this. It wasn’t all about winning, it was about the experience gained and the lessons learned, in particular for some key players who will no doubt be back in Australia one day on a real Ashes tour.
Wunderkind Alice Capsey had a good T20 series, but the real winner here was Emma Lamb. Lamb has of course already played for England, though she didn’t face or bowl a ball in her only appearance; but with her performances on this tour she has staked a clear claim to open the batting for England going forwards, and Lauren Winfield-Hill is going to have to have a very good next few weeks if she is going to keep Lamb out much longer.
|1. Emma Lamb||9||213||107.03|
|2. Alice Capsey||8||137||113.22|
|3. Eve Jones||9||195||77.68|
|4. Georgia Elwiss||9||180||70.58|
|5. Alice Davidson-Richards||8||143||87.19|
Kirstie Gordon hasn’t played for England since July 2019, and could theoretically return to Scotland this summer; but continues to make the case for an England recall with her aggressive left arm spin. Having said that, the emergence of Charlie Dean might make that more difficult, especially if Dean matures into a “proper” batter at international level.
Lauren Bell meanwhile seems to have leapfrogged the other contenders in the fast bowling department with her performances in Australia. After being added to the Test squad, she was also the only out-and-out bowler retained as an option to come into the World Cup squad, should injury strike anyone in the main squad during the final two Ashes ODIs. Like Lamb, her debut will come, if not this winter, then almost certainly in the summer.
|1. Kirstie Gordon||7||9||5.43|
|2. Lauren Bell||8||9||6.02|
|3. Sarah Glenn||4||5||5.77|
|4. Georgia Elwiss||9||5||5.84|
|5. Alice Davidson-Richards||8||4||5.5|