England wins battle of thundering strokeplay

Once the Australians chanced their arm in the second match of the T20 Tri-series for a score of 149, the English women thumped the ball harder and better to win the match by a resounding eight wickets with 18 balls to spare.

England players Natalie Sciver and Tammy Beaumont celebrate their victory over Australia.   -  PTI

It was a thoroughly enjoyable outing for those who availed of the free entry at the North Stand turnstile of the Brabourne Stadium and watched the Australian women swing the bat with the aim of getting plentiful rewards and not careworn by thoughts of impending doom.

The women in bright yellows, without captain Meg Lanning in their ranks, took all the risks.

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Once the Australians chanced their arm in the second match of the T20 Tri-series, the English women in Replica Shirt thumped the ball hard and long in the air and found better results with their effort to win the match by a resounding eight wickets with 18 balls to spare, chasing a below par score of 149.

It was the refreshing approach and attitude of the players of the two teams though that lifted the entertainment quotient in a match that lasted for close to three hours. In all, the players of the two teams smote the ball beyond the boundary rope eight times and hit it to the fence 33 times. At the start, England’s debutant left-arm seamer Katie George showed alacrity on her follow through to effect a superb run out and later her teammates took some fine catches in the deep. It was a pleasure to watch.

Being the old foes in the game, the two teams like to engage in a real skirmish.

Natalie Sciver took the game away from Australia with an unbeaten 68 at the Brabourne stadium on Friday.   -  Vivek Bendre

 

England started the match with a 16-11 win advantage and on Friday it proved to be a superior side even without Sarah Taylor (rested for the tour), Katherine Brunt (down with a back ailment) and Anya Shrubsole, who could not be picked because of a troubling shoulder.

The team led by Heather Knight handed out T20 England caps to Katie, who took a hat-trick in the warm up match against India `A’, opener Bryony Smith and all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards.  They did not have a big part to play, but saw the seniors in Tamsin Beaumont and Natalie Sciver take charge of the match with a whirlwind partnership of 116 runs and complete the task in hand with three overs to spare.

The Tokyo-born Natalie (Man of the Match), who plays for Surrey, made a career-best score of a classy unbeaten 68 (43 balls, 10 x 4s, 2 x 6s) following a two for 29 in the first session and Tamsin made an unbeaten 58 (44 balls, 8 x 4s).

Australia, asked to bat, decided to go for broke right from the start. Alyssa Healy struck two 4s and as many 6s and Ashleigh Gardner, three 6s and two 4s. England was happy to get rid of  Beth Mooney, who had scored unbeaten 86 and 117 in the last Ashes Twenty-20 series played in North Sydney and Canberra.

In spite of losing wickets at regular intervals while playing front-footed big shots, the Australians showed the intent to keep the score board moving. But only stand-in skipper Rachael Haynes succeeded in getting a half century, a career best 65 that bettered her previous best by 40 runs. Skipper Meg was tactically rested in order to not overwork a vulnerable shoulder.

The scores: Australia 149 for 7 in 20 overs 9 (Alyssa Healy 31, Ashleigh Gardner 28, Rachael Haynes 65, Natalie Sciver two for 29, Jennifer Gunn three for 26)  lost to England 150 for 2 in 17 overs (Tamsin Beaumont 58 not out, Natalie Sciver 68 not out)