Sunday, 7 September 2014

England Women v South Africa 3rd T20

Thoughts & analysis:
  • Lauren Winfield's 74 off 60 balls - by far her highest score in international cricket - was exactly the innings we've been looking for her to play in this series. With Lottie failing for once, someone had to stand up; and though there were still a handful of dodgy shots in the earlier overs, she did the job that was needed - which was to put runs on the board at a decent strike-rate - over 120! I said during the Test that her biggest issues seemed to be psychological more than technical; so maybe now she has proved something, to herself and to the world, this is the start of bigger things for her? Let's hope so!
  • (I still think Heather Knight should have been opening though; and so does she, it seems - basically saying as much in her pre-match interview with Isa Guha!)
  • On the South African side, I can only once again point to Dane van Niekerk and say "I wish we had one of them!" The turn she got on the ball that saw Nat Sciver stumped was something else - a weapon like that is worth it's weight in gold, not only because of what it can do, but because of the element of doubt it places in the mind of every batsman she'll ever face from now on. Oh... and she only topped the South African batting averages in the series as well - scoring twice as many runs (105) as her next-placed team-mate, Mignon du Preez (46)!
  • I was going to write that Hazell was rubbish again; but to be fair, although she was milked a bit, it was actually Brunt and Shrubsole who were expensive - both going for 30 off their 4. Basically, England really didn't have a great day with the ball at all, but...
  • The fielding was always the one area where England's professionalism was likely to tell, and it was that which dragged them out of a decidedly sticky-looking situation going into the final overs today, when it really looked like South Africa were in with a shout. Lydia Greenway is touching upon that rarest of cricketing categories - a player who is picked for their fielding alone, vitally doing for du Preez and Kapp today; and mention must also go to Nat Sciver for her amazing direct hit from the (admittedly quite short) boundary to run out Chetty.
  • Finally... the old chestnut... double-headers! The pitiful "crowd" really must persuade the ECB to think again about this - it isn't fair on the girls to play in front of an empty stadium; and it isn't fair on the true fans, who can't go to the game without paying silly money for a men's international they don't have any interest in. (Speaking for myself, anyway!)

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