England lost today by the worst manner as only England teams seem to be able to – the collapse… The best England opening stand in an ODI since last summer in Scarborough of 92 set a good platform, the skipper made her 46th half century, and yet the team couldn’t get past 200 or to the end of the 44th over, losing 7 for 40.
Earlier, Charlotte Edwards won the toss and put Australia in, with her ‘whatever they can make we can chase’ attitude, but perhaps she didn’t count on the tourists having the better of the bowling conditions. The morning whilst overcast at times was balmy for the decent crowd of kids, who get in for this series for £1 – what a summer holiday bargain – Gloucester members and a good few actual spectators. In contrast, the afternoon got darker and darker with spots of rain having your correspondent reaching for an umbrella to protect the score book and slowing the outfield, that was already lusher than that at Taunton for the series opener.
Opener Nicole Boulton, returning to the Australian side after concussion suffered after being hit by one of her own bowlers in the nets before the game at Taunton, along with Villani both scored 30’s, putting on 65 for the opening wicket, until Sarah Taylor snaffled an edge from Villani’s bat from the bowling of spinner Grundy. West Australian Boulton, with skipper Lanning, continued in similar fashion until Shrubsole got through the her defences 103-2.
Cue the entry of arguably best allrounder in all forms of cricket, Ellysse Perry – her qualification for that role being that she opens the bowling and has scored a half century in her last six games, beating the previous record of 3! These two put on a century stand, Lanning passing 100 but Perry falling just 2 short of extending that record to seven 50’s in consecutive one day games. Perry was bowled by a relieved looking Knight, and her skipper fell shortly after stumped Taylor off the expensive but successful Natalie Sciver – the man of the match in Taunton. By then however a far more respectable score had been reached, surpassing the Taunton score on a much lusher and therefore slower outfield, Australia closing on 259-6.
Edwards and Knight put on 92 before Knight, who had lived dangerously with a number of edges falling safe in the slips area with one referred to the third umpire who adjudicated an unclean catch, was run-out by a direct hit from Lanning at midwicket, after getting too far down the wicket to Coyte to be able to get back safely. Edwards fell in the over after the drinks break, seamer Schutt getting through to bowl the England Skipper on her return to the side, 122-2.
Taylor scored faster than a run a ball, looking keen to get on, but Jones fell for a duck bowled cutting off spinner Jonassen and then Taykor fell, after a couple of stylish and scary boundaries over the infield, lbw again to Jonassen, After that only Greenway and Brunt got past 5, both getting past 20 but seamers Schutt and Coyte doing the damage taking 6 for 28 in 6 overs.
So, the Womens Ashes series is even and very much alive as we go on to Worcester on Sunday for what may be a 2-day game if the current forecast is to be believed, as these games have a reserve day booked as they carry points for qualification for the 2017 world cup.