Match Preview: 1st T20 England vs Australia
Date: 26 July 2019
With Australia having wrapped up the Ashes courtesy the drawn Test at Taunton, their focus shifts to the T20I-leg of the series beginning on Friday (July 26). Will the Australian juggernaut maintain their unbeaten run, or will England stem the rot and make a comeback in the series?
Despite their dominance through the series, the visitors are aware that England still pose a huge threat in the shortest format.
“I think in T20 they are very competitive team,” said Matthew Mott soon after the Test match. “I think they are obviously the World Cup one-day holders and we are the T20 holders, so I think it’s going to be an absorbing series.”
“We’re obviously the best team in the world I would say, but in T20 cricket all it takes is one player to play the game of their life for 10 overs,” Beth Mooney said on Wednesday (July 24). “I guess it’s really hard to divide the teams in that sense, but hopefully we can come out all guns blazing and take them on.”
England will take heart from the fact that the series kicks off in their ‘fortress’ at Chelmsford— a venue where they have never lost a game. In eight T20Is so far, the hosts have been unchallenged— their closest victory margin was by 15 runs back in 2013.
While Australia have found different heroes at every turn, England have struggled with the same through the series. Australia have a problem of plenty and have to make some “tough decisions” regarding their playing XI ahead of the game. England on the other hand are still searching for their best combination. Mady Villiers has earned her fist call-up to the England side, while Danielle Wyatt and Jenny Gunn have also returned to the squad.
Wyatt had a phenomenal run in the T20I series in 2017 Ashes as she registered scores of 50, 19 and 100 and helped England level the multi-format series 8-8. Australia will be wary of the threat she possess.
The last time these teams met was in the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup in Antigua last November, when Australia cantered to an easy win. England will be looking to set the record straight and try to finally make a mark on the series.
Beth Mooney’s contribution in the ODI series and the standalone Test has been impactful for Australia. Mooney bailed the team out of a sticky situation when they were chasing relatively small targets in the first two matches. Her unbeaten 43 in the second match was invaluable in the middle order, and showcased the strong temperament that the left-hander had displayed though the Women’s Big Bash League for Brisbane Heat. In the Test at Taunton, Mooney continued her splendid form, smashing her maiden Test fifty as she pushed the visitors past the 400 mark.
“Before I came into this series, I didn’t hvae any expectations of the Test match, but it was sort of nice to come into that role in the middle order and have a goal of trying to keep the game moving forward,” said Mooney. “I haven’t been unhappy with how I’m going but hopefully I can try and make a bigger impact in the T20I series.”
Jones gained much needed confidence with the bat when she scored her maiden fifty in the Test match. This performance came after the dismal time she had through the ODIs where Perry dismissed her on three occasions.
England have not quite got the starts they would have liked and they will look for the opening batters to provide them some blistering starts upfront. Jones, who came into the Ashes in the middle of a purple patch, will be hoping that her outing in the Test match signals a return of form.
Australia and England will play a day-night match at Chelmsford on Friday (July 26). Despite their poor show through the series, England will be confident going into the game. Historically, it hasn’t been a very high scoring ground, with only two totals over 150. The last time England played there, they chased down 138 against New Zealand in 17.1 overs with Wyatt scoring a 35-ball half-century.
Australia: Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, Elyse Villani, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Rachael Haynes (vc), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Megan Schutt.
England: Danni Wyatt, Amy Jones, Tammy Beaumont, Nat Sciver, Heather Knight (c), Sarah Taylor (wk), Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Laura Marsh, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross .