Outplayed.

This is the second of two posts covering the 2nd One Day International between Aus and England, at Coffs Harbour. For the Australian batting innings, go back one post!

 

The reply. We start with Schutt to Winfield, who batted nicely in the first game. Gets two, to mid-off but then plays across one ducking into her and is given out lbw. May have been doing too much, was my first thought. Schutt succeeding early, then, where Shrubsole’s inswing failed – by beating the bat, fatally for the England opener.

Perry gets some shape away from Beaumont in the second over then has a committed, worthwhile appeal for one that goes a shade to leg. Umpire Claire Polosak unmoved.

Rain-break on 2.4 overs. Bit harsh, this, for those of us who’ve been up since 4.25 a.m.

So. General. Haynes bossing it over Knight in terms of team dynamism and personal performance – although the England skipper did take a blinding catch in the Aus innings.

Haynes batted well today (89 off 56 balls) and with some power, to drive her side to close to 300. Knight was poor or certainly lacked spirit, with the bat, in the first encounter. Beyond this I expect Australia to be pro-active in the field a) because their batters have put in them in an attacking position and b) because their captain will insist on that: I think that’s how she is.

After the rain delay, there is an overs reduction: England now needing 285 off 46. Looks increasingly challenging, as Beaumont, like Winfield is lb, falling across to off and failing to make contact.  Immediately it feels like Taylor in particular – or maybe Sciver? – must find something special for England to have any chance.

The visitors are 26 off 5.4 as Perry bowls two major beamers – surely because the ball is wet? Controversially, she is withdrawn from the attack by the umpire. Big, or would be, if Australia weren’t already so- o far ahead. Haynes, understandably, pleads with Polosak.

Following the disappointment Haynes makes a brilliant stop to deny Taylor four past mid-off. Note Schutt still getting some meaningful inswing, after 6. McGrath in fact follows with a touch of outswing, drawing Knight into a miss. 36 for 2 off 8.

England still settling, with strike-rates around 70-odd. Taylor can really go higher; her partner, the captain, in time, will have to join her.

Beams in to bowl the eleventh. Offers something different – though less spin than Wellington, I reckon. Taylor, inventing, is almost bowled, almost stumped.

England will be happy enough that the game goes quietish: in the twelfth, a platform is gently but reasonably authoritatively being established. They are, at this moment, marginally ahead of the run-rate. Taylor misses out, though, on a poor, short one from Beams.

Incredibly tight run-out call goes in Taylor’s favour. Given she was involved in a shocker in the first game, that’s a major relief for Robinsonand his camp. 55 for 2 off 12. England just about managing that surviving/thriving thing… but will need to raise this soonish.

Enter Wellington, who really impressed in the first match. Will this damp ball bite, for her? She goes boldly full and draws a thick outside-edge from Taylor before offering a loose one, which the England no. 3 carts for four.

Next over, calamity as a really innocuous delivery from McGrath claims Taylor caught behind. It was shortish and cuttable but only finds the edge; might have been four past point… might be terminal?

But in comes the highly-rated Sciver: athletic and plainly gifted. She may be one of the few players who could turn a game at this level around: clearly she will have to. Jonassen is sweetly dispatched over mid-wicket but then Sciver throws the game – the series? – with a mishit straight to mid-on.

That may be excessively negative. But that dismissal was sloppy, was unecessary, was ill-judged and it utterly gifted  the momentum back to Australia. They are surely too competent to lose it from here?

The pommie mood plummets yet further as Knight – again disappointing – sweeps across Wellington and is gone, lbw. It transpires that she there was a clear under-edge, so she is cruelly unfortunate. However the feeling persists that again the England skipper had occupied the crease rather than developed or actively countered. Either way, England are gone, at 91 for 5.

Brunt – who for me is unconvincing with the bat – is in, needing to make substantially more than her average of 14. Wilson is skilful but (you suspect) insufficiently powerful to haul her side back into this, even in partnership with a more belligerent striker of the ball. We’re at 119 for 5 off 25, with the England quick claiming successive fours off Wellington.

Wilson plays a rather ugly false-shot off Jonassen with the run-rate at eight – survives. Can feel the frustration building for the visitors with every ball, now. Brunt not patient by nature, you suspect: she’ll have to harness the anger. Haynes mixing things, as Beams, the second legspinner, returns.

Tellingly, even when Wilson ‘goes big’, the ball plugs short of the boundary. Jonassen and Beams have checked the run-making again: no sign at all that England can get near the 157 runs off 108 balls that they need. Predict that Brunt will get angry and get out. (Am proved wrong – fair play to her).

Wilson can’t pierce the field. Solid from Australia and solid will be good enough – credit them for smothering England once more. However, it is surprising that Wilson and Brunt opt to remain chanceless – and relatively boundary-free – rather than chasing. Not their fault where they’ve finished up but surely they must target an unlikely win?

Finally Wilson drives aerially but convincingly past the bowler for four. But the run-rate is close to 10. Brunt has barely timed a thing and is noticeably trying to heave everything into leg, now. She may be tired, or dispirited; she must know, really that England have to charge. Re-gathering, Brunt battles on, bravely and I salute her for that.

Perry, though, takes an outstanding catch, claiming Wilson in the deep, racing forward. Few others would have gotten there.

In the 38th, Brunt finally succumbs on 52, bowled by Schutt whilst attempting to paddle over her left shoulder. England, as Shrubsole enters the fray, are 182 for 7 – a hundred runs short, give or take. Schutt has a four-fer.

Gunn plays complicatedly around a straightish one from Beams and is bowled, leaving England on 198 for 8. We went past the death throes some time ago, I fear but of course both sides must see this out – England to salvage something, Australia to #beatEngland as humiliatingly as possible.

I spoke of a fizzle-out in the first one-dayer and this has been (as an England fan) rather depressingly similar. Game going inevitably one way from somewhere around twenty overs, with disappointingly little defiant thrashing around from our lot.

Wisely, the locals amongst the commentators on BT Sport have counselled for caution in terms of the series result but as Shrubsole heaves to long-on to bring in Hartley, the efficient Australians have banked four precious points… or have when Ecclestone skies to deepish midwicket. A comprehensive, comprehensive win. 75 runs the difference on DLS, as England are skittled for 209.

Toughish to find too many positives. Brunt’s 50 was determined but a worryingly isolated comeback to Australian superiority. With the ball, nobody stood out: Brunt and Shrubsole made no inroads, the spinners were mixed and Sciver and Gunn unthreatening.

Crucially, again, the fielding display was average, with Beaumont’s drop a low point. The coaching team have real work to do to repair fragile confidences and re-invigorate a World Cup-winning team that is being outplayed.

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