Match Preview: 3rd T20I, England vs Australia
Date: 30 July 2019
Australia sealed the T20I-leg of the multi-format Ashes series with a clinical allround performance in the second T20I in Hove on Sunday (July 28). They will now look to Bristol as an opportunity to whitewash the hosts and become the third Australian women’s team to go through a tour of England undefeated. Considering the aggressive and ruthless brand of cricket that they have displayed through the series, a whitewash looks a mere formality.
Australia have dominated the Ashes series with bat, ball and in the field. They have been unmatched in terms of skill, intensity and game awareness over the six matches so far and have found contributors at every turn.
Aside from Nicole Bolton, who struggled in her four innings, every one of the Australians has managed to make an impact in the series. This is in stark contrast to England who have struggled to find a winning formula.
While Natalie Sciver and Tammy Beaumont have shown glimpses of good form with the bat, Amy Jones and Heather Knight have largely struggled to put together any scores of substance. Their bowling too has looked largely toothless. Sophie Ecclestone, the left-arm spinner, has been their best bowler by far, while Laura Marsh has blown hot and cold. Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt, the experienced fast-bowling duo, have failed to deliver any impactful performances and Sciver has mostly been lucky to get wickets.
The series has been nothing short of a nightmare for England, but they will have to dig deep and find the strength to put on a good show in the final game. There were periods where they showed some fight in Hove, and if anything, they could take heart from that. Either way, England have a lot of questions to answer and a lot of soul searching to do once Australia leave their shores, but before that, possibly a T20I win to cheer them up?
Although Ellyse Perry overshadowed Lanning with the bat in the tricky run chase at Hove, the Australian captain showed great versatility through her unbeaten innings of 43. After having massacred the England attack at Chelmsford on a flat surface, the right-hander played more conservatively in Hove, looking to milk the bowlers, rather than simply bludgeon. With Australia in a spot of bother at 35 for 3 chasing 122, Lanning chose to play risk-free cricket, hitting along the ground, rather than over the top. Following her knock in the second T20I, the Australian captain now boasts of a phenomenal record of having scored a whopping 333 runs since she was last dismissed by England in a T20I.
Ecclestone, a high-quality left-arm spinner, has blown hot and cold through the series. While she started the series on a promising note, taking three wickets in the first ODI, she has since failed to pick up consistent wickets. Of course, Ecclestone has been largely unlucky— a victim of England’s poor fielding display— but she has also been easily dealt with by Australia’s strong middle order. Aside from her prowess with the ball, Ecclestone has also shown great potential with the bat— her clean striking coming to the fore on several occasions.
The final T20I at Bristol is a day-night game and the team winning the toss will most likely look to bowl first as chasing under floodlights has historically proven to be the better option. Bristol has been a batting friendly track, so one can expect the some fireworks from both teams.
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 .