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http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/Blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/21/spinners-are-winners

Lisa Sthalekar


Spinners are winners

21 August 2013 2

As a former Commonwealth Bank Southern Star I had a big grin on my face as I watched the first ODI via live streaming courtesy of the ECB.

It isn't very often that women's cricket is telecasted so to have only just left the side it was pretty cool to see my mates playing at Lord’s. 

Lord’s is seen as the home of cricket globally but for the English women's cricket team it certainly isn't a happy hunting ground for them when they come up against Australia. The last time England beat Australia in a one-day match at Lord’s was 1976 and the Southern Stars wanted to keep that record in their favour. 

On a gorgeous day in London with a healthy crowd thanks largely to the ECB opening up the ground for kids to attend for free, it certainly added to the atmosphere that was building for the crucial first ODI match in the context of the Women's Ashes series.

The Southern Stars had no hesitation to bat after winnings the toss on what looked like a great batting track, but unfortunately lost Rachael Haynes for a duck in the first over, caught and bowled by a pumped up Katherine Brunt.  

Compared to the Test match where Brunt bowled economically but didn't pick up early wickets, she stepped up today by picking up her second wicket in quick fashion when Jess Cameron (10) also fell to a poorly executed pull shot to square leg. 

This left the Stars in a sticky situation at 2/24 in the 7th over. With a change in the batting order compared to previous ODI's played by Australia, Jodie Fields came to the wicket and the team needed a gutsy captains knock.

With Meg Lanning being the aggressor of the two they were both able to build a nice partnership of 74 until Lanning, in similar fashion to the previous dismissals, tried to pull Laura Marsh but in the end lofted a simple catch to mid-on to bring her innings to an end on 56 off 64 balls.

From there England were able to provide plenty of pressure with dot balls and consecutive maidens that brought about wickets consistently.

Most of the Southern Stars were able to get a start but no one apart from Lanning was able to make a sizeable score and really go on with it. 

Brunt (3/29) and Marsh (2/27) were stand outs for England, both coming back from injuries and both picking up multiple wickets for less than 30 runs off their 10 overs. Australia finished their 50 overs with a below par score of 8-203.

Speaking during the innings break of the match, Lanning commented that the wicket was slower than they expected and it was almost easier to go the aerial route. Although it wasn't the total that they were hoping to get, it was still a defendable total if their bowlers bowled well. 

In the last fixture between both these countries Australia was able to win a nail bitter defending the small total of 147 runs and if that was to happen again they would need to pick up early wickets. 

Unlike Brunt's first over where she picked up Haynes for a duck, Ellyse Perry's first over couldn't of been any more different, bowling 4 wides as she tried to combat the famous slope at Lord’s from the Nursery End. 

Arran Brindle and Charlotte Edwards were in no rush at the start of England’s innings and they didn't need to be as they were only chasing just over four runs per over.

Brindle looked like she was in no hurry, possibly forgetting that this wasn't a Test match, brilliantly caught by Sarah Coyte in the deep off Erin Osborne for 21 off 72 balls.  

England looked in control of the run chase with their most experience batters, Edwards and Sarah Taylor at the crease until Jessica Jonassen was able to trap Taylor (22), breaking their key partnership. 

Jonassen dismissed Lydia Greenway (1) cheaply and all of a sudden the run rate that had began at four and crept over five, with England possibly rueing their sluggish start.

Similar to the Men's Ashes ersies, the English pitches seemed to be taking more spin than usual and it was the Southern Stars spinners that were asking the difficult questions regularly, with Osborne picking up the vital wicket of Edwards (61) who had actually scored her first half-century against Australia.

With Edwards back in the historical Lord’s pavilion, it was game on with Heather Knight, the recent Test centurion and Tammy Beaumont, a young batter trying to make her way regularly into the English XI, to see them over the line. 

The equation got down to 50 runs off 54 balls when Osborne picked up her third wicket, Knight lbw for 25. With only another five wickets required to secure the win for Australia, England still had 8 more overs to go to take the Ashes lead.   

With scoreboard pressure building, the last five wickets were only able to score a further 16 runs with Jonassen (4-38) and Osborne (3-39) being the main destroyers.

It would be remiss of me not to mention Sarah Coyte who made a crucial run-out but also bowled in great partnerships with the spinners to collect, 1-20 off her nine overs.  

In the end the Southern Stars won by 27 runs and I am sure opened up some psychological scars for England, who again came tantalisingly close to beating Australia.

The next match moves to the beautiful ground at Hove this coming Friday, so tune in and follow the success of our mighty Southern Stars.

Southern Stars Corespondent, “I need some sleep now after watching that match,” Lisa Sthalekar.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.
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