Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Academy continue winning ways

England Academy made it three wins out of three over Sri Lanka A in ODIs, and five out of five overall, with just an ODI against the Aussie Shooting Stars tomorrow and then two T20s against the same opposition on Sunday. They will be expecting to keep up their 100% record.

In truth Sri Lanka have been no match for England, as you might expect, and today confirmed the respective strengths of the two sides. Put into bat Sri Lanka struggled to make 133 all out in 38 of their 40 overs (the game having started late after heavy overnight rain and the pitch being left uncovered).

Seamers Langston, Cross and Davies all took an early wicket apiece to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 44/3. The introduction of spin in the shape of left-armer Alex Hartley and off-spinner Steph Butler (3/26) produced more regular wickets, including two suicidal run outs. At 91/8 Sri Lanka were in danger of failing to make three figures. But the ninth wicket added 21, and the tenth the same, to take Sri Lanka to 133 all out.

In reply opening pair Emma Lamb (19) and Evelyn Jones (1) again got the opening duties, but Jones soon went slashing a ball to slip. Georgia Adams (9) followed in similar fashion in the next over to leave England on 13/2. Lamb and Fran Wilson (44) seemed to have things under control until Lamb missed a sweep shot and was lbw. This brought Wilson's former Somerset team-mate Sophie Luff to the crease. They had taken the score to beyond half of what was required when Luff was run out calling Wilson through for an optimistic single and failing to get back at the non-striker's end when Wilson declined the run.

But it seemed as though Wilson and Sophia Dunkley (18*) would bring home the win as they accumulated runs without too much bother, with the aid of some sloppy fielding from the tiring Sri Lankans, but Wilson then drove hard and aerial, but straight to mid-off. Kate Cross (18) helped Dunkley level the scores but then skied a ball to midwicket. Dunkley finished the job next ball with a trademark searing drive through wide mid-off. Job very much done.

It was a solid victory, which is never to be sneezed at, but in terms of developing future England players it probably had fairly limited impact. England will hope to be pushed a little harder by the Aussies tomorrow in their last 50 over fixture of the tour.

England bowling (unofficial) - Langston 7-2-21-1, Cross 7-2-12-2, Macdonald 4-2-19-0, Davies 6-2-15-1, Hartley 7-0-32-1, Butler 7-2-26-3.

England batting (unofficial) - Jones 1, Lamb 19, Adams 9, Wilson 44, Luff 13, Dunkley 18*, Cross 18, Macdonald 0*, Butler, Hartley * Langston did not bat.


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