Cricket Australia Items/Blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/28/exciting-times-ahead

Lisa Sthalekar

Exciting times lie ahead

28 August 2013 3

The women's game has come so far over the past few years, and exciting times lie ahead if last night is any indication of where it is headed.

Not only did Essex sell out the ground at Chemlsford, but the game was being broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and FOX SPORTS back home. 

Plus live to air on BBC Sky Sports and ABC Grandstand...and it was a day-nighter.

England had the momentum coming into this match winning the last two ODI's and they couldn't have asked for a better start with Edwards showing true class to hit Perry down the ground for two fours off the first over of the match. 

Despite Edwards (17 runs off 9 balls) chipping one of Coyte's deliveries to Osborne in the second over, the captain had set the tone for England's inning.

Both Knight, who was thankfully added to the T20 squad after a sensational Ashes Series so far, and Taylor were just dealing in boundaries until Cameron, known for pulling off amazing catches, took a ripping catch at mid on to remove Knight for 13.

Wyatt, who returned to the England squad for the T20s joined Taylor and they went about building a solid platform for a total around 160. 

Taylor was the aggressor of the two hitting most of Southern Stars bowlers for a number of fours in their first over. 

She brought up her 50 off 37 balls with a rare top edge that went for four, over the keepers head bringing up her tenth 50 in T20 international cricket.

Despite a couple of tough chances put down, the Stars fielded well diving around the outfield to limit the damage and it was this good fielding that brought about breaking this partnership when Wyatt was run out by Haynes for 28. 

The 88 run partnership had laid a great base with Taylor batting throughout the innings to be bowled on the last delivery by the the pick of the Aussie bowlers, Erin Osborne who took one for 22 off her four overs.

With England setting 146 runs, the Southern Stars needed to get off to a great start and capitalise on the power-play with only two fielders outside the inner circle. 

Instead it was England's day as they applied the pressure to pick up three wickets for 27 runs during the power-play, with Lanning (2), Healy (6) and Fields (6) all back in the pavilion.

Cameron and Blackwell combined to get the Stars back on track but they found it difficult to find the boundary with both finding it once and Cameron registering the only six of the match. 

At the same stage England found the boundary 10 times.

England kept putting the squeeze on despite Edwards dropping a sitter to give Cameron a life on 45, with the Aussies failing at any time to score above the required run rate, before long it was in the nine's. 

When Cameron (35) and Blackwell (20) went in successive overs, Perry and Haynes had an up hill battle as they needed to score at over ten runs per over.

The Aussies never give up mentality certainly kicked in and both of them upped the ante as they found the boundary countless times, but the damage had already been done at the beginning of the innings. 

Perry finished up with 30 runs off 20 balls and Haynes 25 runs off 19 balls but in the final over they required 25 runs. In the end they were only able to pick up eight runs with England winning by 15 runs and taking a commanding lead of 8-4 in the Women's Ashes Series.

So where do Australia need to improve in the remaining two matches if they are to retain the Ashes?

Our starts with both bat and bowl need to improve. 

Perry is batting extremely well, something that I knew she always had the potential to do, having watched her throughout junior National Championships, but she isn't providing the sting with the ball that the Stars are used to. 

In the next two T20's if we aren't picking up early wickets we need to be restricting England to less than six runs per over in the power-play.

In regards to our batting, we haven't gotten off to the greatest start in any of the ODI's and the first T20. 

Looking on as a fan and cricket tragic, I still feel the Southern Stars aren't sure what their best batting order is at the moment and I wouldn't be surprised that in the Friday in the 'do or die' game they come out with a different line up.

But, what I do know is that the Australian cricketing fraternity will be right behind the Southern Stars as they are glued to either FOX SPORTS or ABC Grandstand to cheering them to victory to keep the Ashes Series alive. C'mon Aussies!!!

Southern Stars Correspondent, going to have a massage today, 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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