Saturday, 24 August 2013

England Level Ashes Series

England wrapped up a comfortable 51 run win over Australia at Hove in the second of three ODIs to bring the Ashes score back to parity at 4-4 with another 8 points to play for in the series. [full scorecard here -]

England brought in Nat Sciver to the starting 11 in place of Tammy Beaumont and moved Heather Knight to the opener's spot that she should really have had in the first ODI. Like Sarah Taylor she is a natural timer of the ball and she gets the innings off to a positive start and seems like a natural foil to the ever-reliable Charlotte Edwards.

So far in this series Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole have outbowled their Aussie counterparts - Ellyse Perry and Holly Ferling (in fact Ferling has been used very sparingly with Megan Schutt the preferred partner for Perry). They have made early inroads into the Aussie batting, which has then been tentative. In the first ODI the English batsmen could not capitalise on the good work done by the bowlers. In this one the batsmen all fired and set up the game for the bowlers to finish the Aussies off. England must go into tomorrow's third ODI full of confidence after a clinical performance. What a difference one game can make?

England will undoubtedly keep the same team, unless there are any injuries we do not know about. But what will the Aussies do? Rachael Haynes is in a miserable run - she has scored 10, 23, 0 and 0 so far this tour. It would not surprise me to see Alyssa Healey take her place. Batting Ellyse Perry at 6 also seems a trifle optimistic to me. She does hit the ball well, but is prone to rash shots, particularly if tied down. If the Aussies want to extend their batting line-up then Ellyse Villani is probably their only real option if Haynes is dropped. This would mean one of the bowlers would have to give way and I think this might be Ferling. It will be interesting to see the make-up of the Aussie team tomorrow.

All we need now is for the rain to go away. I'm expecting a decent crowd at Hove and a great atmosphere.


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