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http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/Blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/26/hold-on-to-your-hats-for-t20s

Lisa Sthalekar


Hold on to your hats for T20s

26 August 2013

With our Australian Men's team walking away from the Ashes without registering a win, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars have fallen behind in the Women's Ashes Series, being beaten by five wickets in a rain reduced match last night.

After a number of pitch inspections and the clouds clearing it was decided that the match would be reduced to 36 overs. 

There were changes in both line ups with, Hazell in for Marsh who reported soreness in her shoulder that kept her out for the majority of the county season. 

For the Stars there were two changes with Healy in for Haynes at the top of the order and a surprise selection, Hunter in for Ferling. 

Obviously it is hard to tell how Ferling has been going from the other side of the world, but the English commentators also agreed, with most wondering why Hunter came in for Ferling, rather than Schutt or Coyte.

The Southern Stars won the toss and elected to bat, but unfortunately Healy fell in similar fashion to Haynes, who she was replacing, by going for a duck, off Shrubsole. 

Lanning and Cameron looked good at the crease and registered a 50 run partnership, but that was soon broken by Hazell as Cameron was stumped for 28.

Fields (27) and Lanning (64) started to build a great platform for the Stars to accelerate at the back end of the innings, as Lanning brought another half century. 

Their 67 run partnership was broken in 25th over with Fields following in the over after. 

Fields was caught brilliantly by Taylor who anticipated her reverse sweep to take the one handed grab. That would certainly have to be the "Play of The Day". 

Having played the reverse sweep myself, I can attest to the fact she is the only keeper in International cricket that actually anticipates that shot.

With two new batters in the crease and Perry being promoted to five, both Blackwell and Perry went over a run a ball to add 77 run in the last 10 overs. 

They were both unbeaten on with Perry coming so close to her first half century for Australia, 45 runs off 38 balls and Blackwell, 35 runs off 29 balls to give the Stars a very defendable total of 4-203.

Majority of the English bowlers did their job well by being able to break crucial partnerships at the right time, but on a slow wicket that didn't offer a lot to the bowlers it was always going to be a hard slog, with the Hazell being the only multiple wicket taker.

England's innings couldn't have started any worse for them as lost their Captain, Edwards, to a stunning catch by Blackwell at short extra cover for 8 off the bowling of Osborne. 

That was really the only celebration the Aussies had as both Knight and Taylor went about spoiling the party.

Both players were going over a run a ball, with Fields trying all bowlers to break their partnership. 

Between the two they hit 11 boundaries as they both brought up their half centuries. 

The Stars started to see the game slip away from them, but when Osborne picked up her second wicket of Knight for 69, Coyte soon after removed the dangerous Taylor for 64 and all of a sudden it was game on.

England were in a similar position as they were in the first ODI at Lords where the Southern Stars were able to apply pressure, scoreboard pressure too and they faltered under that. 

Hopefully that would occur again.

Brindle came and went, as did Greenway and things were looking better, but Sciver landed the final blow as she scored an unbeaten 18 off the same amount of deliveries to secure the win and the ODI series for England in the 34th over.

Although Osborne picked up three wickets she was quite expensive going for seven runs per over, as was Schutt who only bowled two overs for the match. Coyte was the only other wicket taker.

With the ODI matches now finished and England coming back well after their first ODI loss, they certainly have great momentum for the T20 series that begins in two days time at Chelmsford.

The Southern Stars are moving into a format that they have had a lot of success recently, but these wins for England will certainly give them the confidence that they can beat Australia and regain the Ashes.

T20 cricket is such a fast paced game that anything can happen out in the middle, but my fears is that Taylor has found some form and you would expect that England will find a place for Knight as she has been their highest run scorer throughout the Series.

As for Australia they will make some changes to suit the shorter format, with their top order needing to fire at the same time to give the team confidence in the last three matches of the Ashes Series.

Hold onto your hats....this is going to be a close one.

Southern Stars Correspondent, had my first pedicure EVER, 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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