England Women lost their second and final ICC Women’s World Twenty20 warm-up game today as they were defeated by old foe Australia by five runs at Taunton Vale Cricket Club.
The Australian captain Karen Rolton won the toss and chose to bat first on what eventually turned out to be a warm, sunny evening. The visitors posted 142-5 from their allotted overs and England failed to chase them down suffering a middle-order collapse.
Needing 18 to win from the final over bowled by Sarah Andrews, Caroline Atkins (30) and Katherine Brunt (23), could only muster 13 - taking their unbroken last-wicket partnership to 45.
That left them five runs short of Australia’s 142 for five, underpinned by opener Leah Poulton’s 66, as seamer Ellyse Perry (3-16) and Lisa Sthalekar (3-14) starred.
Claire Taylor dominated the start of England’s reply with 42 of the first 50 on the board, from 25 balls including eight fours.
It had begun badly when Sarah Taylor was caught behind by Jodie Fields, from the second ball of the innings. Skipper Charlotte Edwards went next for one.
Following Taylor’s dismissal, caught behind off Perry, Lydia Greenway made 11 and Jenny Gunn struck 15, but no-one anchored the innings until Atkins came in at eight.
Brunt hit a straight six from the third ball of the last over to leave nine required, but the pair were unable to pull off the minor miracle.
Atkins’ knock occupied 25 balls while Brunt’s innings came at a run-a-ball. Not bad for the number 11.
Earlier, Poulton put on 53 for first wicket with Nitschke, who was bowled by Laura Marsh for 16. Poulton struck three sixes in the 49 balls she faced.
She was finally caught by Taylor at mid-on from Edwards' first ball. That brought Jodie Fields to the crease. She contributed a quickfire 25 from 16 balls.
Nicky Shaw picked up two wickets: Lauren Ebsary caught in the deep by Taylor for 13 and keeper Sarah Taylor taking a low leg-side catch to remove Lisa Sthalekar for three.
Fields provided late momentum as England were left to chase more than seven an over.
England had made one change from yesterday’s victory over New Zealand. Seamer Isa Guha was omitted from the 12-strong team that triumphed by seven wickets, with England opting to field 11 players in this practice match.
After the game head coach Mark Lane said: “It was a perfect warm-up game for us to play – against one of the best sides in the world.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with our performance in some of our key areas, particularly with our ground fielding and the performance of our middle order. However there were also some solid performances from Claire (Taylor), Caroline (Atkins) and Katherine (Brunt).
“Ultimately though it is only a warm-up game but we will look to do much better on Thursday when we face India who we know can be a very dangerous side.”