Match Preview: 2nd T20I, England vs Australia
Date: 28 July 2019
Following Meg Lanning’s mastercalss at Chelmsford that allowed Australia to break England’s 14-match winning streak at the ground and also win the Ashes, the teams now move to the second T20I at Hove on Sunday (July 28). Although the series is now officially done and dusted, Australia are looking to continue their dominance over the hosts.
Having broken several records in the first game and handed England their heaviest ever T20I defeat, Lanning spoke of Australia’s need to improve in certain areas.
“We’re just really competitive people,” said Lanning after she smashed an unbeaten 133 on Friday (July 26). “We strive for perfection. We don’t get there, but we want to get as close to it as we can. As I said, we can still probably improve a little bit in the field so that’s a good thing for our group. We want to keep getting better, and I think that’s why we’ve been able to have some success over the last 18 months.”
Australia’s consistency and intensity in the field has been something that has set them apart from England. While both batting line-ups have struggled at different points in the series, Australia’s dominance in the field has been unquestioned. Whether it is converting a half chance or diving on the boundary to save a run, Australia have been close to flawless.
The hosts will have to find a way to pick themselves up and dust themselves off after being blown away in what was thought to be their territory. While the series is well and truly lost, there is much for England to play for. For starters, there’s a T20 World Cup on the horizon, and that ‘pride’ they all speak of.
“We’re better than that,” said Heather Knight on Friday night. “We just didn’t bowl well enough. It’s tough to take and hard to explain. Australia have played very well – and credit to them – but it’s been a tough few weeks for us. We have to park this very quickly and turn things around for Hove.”
Through the course of the series, Beth Mooney has proved to be one of Australia’s most versatile batters. Coming down the order in the ODIs and the Test match, she made valuable contributions to give Australia the advantage in the series. In the T20Is, the left-hander opens the batting with Alyssa Healy and the pair have formed a formidable partnership.
On Friday, Mooney smashed a quick fire fifty that was quite rightly overshadowed by Lanning’s performance. She took to England’s bowlers early in the innings, spanking her first three deliveries for consecutive boundaries off Anya Shrubsole.
Katherine Brunt is still England’s best bowler. Her versatility – the ability to swing the new ball, and the bowl cross seam and off-pace deliveries at the back end of the innings – means she is one of the toughest bowlers to face in the world. However, what has always been most impressive about the fast bowler is the heart and fight she shown whenever she takes the field.
Despite having a poor outing with the ball on Friday, Brunt came out to bat when England were down and out and proceeded to take the attack to Australia. She shared a fruitful partnership with Lauren Winfield and gave the crowd something to cheer. In a typically scrappy innings of 29, Brunt showed an unwillingness to give in without a fight – something the rest of the team desperately need to find a way to do.
After a day-night match at Chelmsford, the match at Hove is going to be a day game. It has been four years since a T20I was last played at the ground – enough time for the previous records to mean little. While the highest recorded score at the ground is the 154 for 3 that England scored against West Indies back in 2012, it is likely both teams will be aiming for much more. The Australians expect the pitch to be similar to that at Chelmsford, and therefore a high scoring match is likely to be on the cards.
Australia: Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Rachael Haynes (vc), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Megan Schutt, Georgia Wareham.
England: Danni Wyatt, Amy Jones (wk), Tammy Beaumont, Nat Sciver, Heather Knight (c), Lauren Winfield, Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross .