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Cricket - 11. February 2008.

Australia level the Series 2-2

Match Report

Australia v England women final ODI

SCG

England’s Stephanie Davies made her full ODI debut today at the Sydney Cricket Ground and took four wickets for 47, but it wasn’t enough to secure the series for England. Australia beat England by 41 runs to pull the series back and draw it 2-2.


Karen Rolton started well and won the toss for Australia, electing to bat on a worn, tired wicket that kept low and slow. Australia’s openers, Alex Blackwell and Shelley Nitschke got off to a strong start and posted 90 for the first wicket before Nitschke was caught at deep mid-wicket by Laura Marsh off a full toss from Rosalie Birch for 50 in the 25th over.

Rolton, coming in at three, made five and then fell to a catch by Beth Morgan fielding at mid-off from Holly Colvin’s bowling, bringing Lisa Sthalekar to the crease and Australia on 105-2.

Sthalekar and Alex Blackwell scored steadily putting on 47 for the third wicket before Blackwell attempted to sweep Jenny Gunn and instead found the top edge and was caught by Colvin at fine leg for 61.

Kate Blackwell came to the crease with Australia 152-3. She and Sthalekar added 31 before Davies claimed her first international wicket; that of Sthalekar who attempted a sweep shot and was trapped leg before wicket in the 46th over.

That brought Kris Britt to the middle for Australia. She made eight before becoming Nicky Shaw’s only victim of the match. Britt attempted to hit the ball over mid-wicket, but was clean-bowled by Shaw on the last ball of the 47th over.

Kate Blackwell was scoring well for the hosts as youngster Elysse Perry headed to the crease with Australia 192-5, but two runs later Blackwell was trapped lbw by Davies who claimed her second international scalp as Blackwell (23) attempted a sweep shot.

Perry was bowled by Marsh in the penultimate over for five as she attempted a big shot, but missed, leaving Leonie Coleman at the crease and Sarah Andrews on her way to the middle.

On the penultimate ball of the innings, Davies trapped Coleman for seven and as Australia were 211-8, Kirsten Pike came to the middle. She was stumped on the last ball of the innings by Sarah Taylor off Davies bowling leaving Australia 211-9 from their 50 overs.

The pick of England’s bowlers were debutante Davies and Shaw, who went for just 16 runs from her 10 overs. Gunn, Colvin, Marsh and Birch all took one apiece to restrict Australia to 211-9 from their 50 overs.

In reply England didn’t get off to the best of starts losing Beth Morgan in the fourth over for four. She was trapped lbw by Perry. Sarah Taylor (22) fell soon after to a beautiful ball from Perry that took away her bails.

England were 29-2 and needing to build a partnership. Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards worked well together as they had done the previous day putting on 39 for the third wicket.

In the 22nd over Taylor was trapped lbw by Nitschke for 14 and England were struggling on 68-3. Edwards and Lydia Greenway looked strong for a time, adding 50 to the total until captain Edwards was caught by Perry at mid-wicket off Sthalekar’s bowling for 44 bringing Gunn to the crease.

Gunn made nine before she was dismissed by Andrews from a caught and bowled and that signalled England’s collapse. Shaw was next in for the visitors, but was stumped by Coleman off Pike’s bowling without making a run, leaving England 139-6.

Birch joined Greenway, who had been timing the ball well. Together they added ten, but Greenway (42) fell in the 43rd over to a stumping by Coleman off Pike’s bowling. Marsh came in at nine and made a run-a-ball seven before she was clean-bowled by Emma Sampson as she charged down the wicket, leaving England 163-8.

Davies was next and lasted less than an over before she was trapped lbw by Perry for 2. England required 45 runs from 27 balls with just one wicket in hand. Birch and Colvin, coming in at ten, added three runs before Birch was bowled by Sampson for 14. England were all out for 170, missing out on a series win over Australia.

After the game, captain Edwards commented: We’re bitterly disappointed that we didn’t manage to clinch the series here today. We didn’t bowl or field well enough as a unit and to get 211 on a worn wicket was always going to be a hard ask.

“Having said that it’s fantastic to draw a series against Australia in Australia and I’m really proud of all the girls’ efforts over the last week and look forward to the Test match in Bowral which starts at the end of the week.”

Debutante Steph Davies added:”It was really exciting to make my debut and play my first international for England at the SCG. I started nervously, but then got back into it towards the end to get four wickets.

“It was really hard to begin with and the Australian batters were really going for it. If you didn’t get the ball in the right areas they’d take advantage and punish you for it.

“We’re obviously disappointed not to win the series – we had been playing good enough cricket to win it, but we’re confident going through to the Ashes on Friday.”

Link to scorecard: http://ls.cricket.com.au/HomeFullScorecard52_1160_5.html

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