Australia won the final IT20 of the Commbank IT20 Tri-Series to see England eliminated on net run-rate.
At the half-way stage England would have been confident of success after an impressive bowling performance restricted the hosts to 132/7, but Australia’s spinners utilised a slow, used track very well to win by 16 runs.
Defeat means Heather Knight’s side will not participate in the Tri-Series final on Wednesday – instead playing against a Cricket Australia XI – but there were positives despite the result, with spinners Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn again bowling with great control.
After Wednesday’s match England will take part in two ICC Women’s T20 World Cup warm-up matches (New Zealand, March 16 & Sri Lanka, March 18) before their tournament proper gets underway on March 23 against South Africa at Perth.
Heather Knight: “It’s disappointing because that was probably our most complete bowling peformance. All of the bowlers bowled really well, we kept them under pressure throughout and took wickets at key times.
“We never really had a batter in and Australia utilised the conditions really well. We want to be aggressive but they made it hard for us.
“I think it’s a defeat we should be able to learn a lot from, and in general I think it’s been a decent tri-series for us. We’ve had a chance to fine-tune some things, and at times we’ve seen good performances with both bat and ball.
“It’s been good preparation, it’s obviously annoying to miss out on run-rate but it’s all about improving and being ready for the World Cup proper”
Comments from our correspondent Julian Thompson.
*Australia were un-phased by England’s short and wayward pace deliveries. Australia (132/7) beat an England team that struggled with the bat (116/7). Pleasing for Aussie keeper Alyssa Healy who took two catches and made two stumpings. Triumphant return for Australia’s Soph Molineux (3-19), following her recent mental health leave
*Put in to bat, Alyssa Healy (1) was caught, fifth ball, by Danni Wyatt, off Katherine Brunt. Australia lost four wickets to England’s pair of spinners with best economy. *Sophie Ecclestone (2-19) bowled opener Ashleigh Gardner (10) & Ellyse Perry (10) in the 12th over. *Newbie Sarah Glenn (2-18) bowled captain Meg Lanning (12) & Beth Mooney (50)
*Bowling wide, Anya Shrubsole (0-35) was hit for six by Beth Mooney (during an 8 ball over caused by two wides) & later by veteran Rachael Haynes (16th over). Nat Sciver’s (1-22) pace removed Haynes (24) who was caught by Heather Knight. Soph Molineux (10) was run out – off Katherine Brunt’s pace (1-24). England needed 133 to win
*Lacking tour form, England’s openers Amy Jones and Danni Wyatt departed cheaply to Talya Vlaeminck’s fast right-arm bowling. After Jones (4) was bowled, Danni Wyatt (12) was caught behind by keeper Alyssa Healy, also off Vlaeminck.
*England’s middle-order struggled against Soph Molineux’s orthodox left-arm medium pace and Allysa Healy’s experience as keeper. Nat Sciver (17) was caught by Elysse Perry & Heather Knight (13) was stumped by Alyssa Healy (10th over). During the 11th over, Fran Wilson (2) was also stumped by Alyssa Healy, off Jess Jonassen.
*Chances for England looked slim once Tami Beaumont (6) fell to Soph Molineux (3-19) during the 12th over. By the ‘hundred’ benchmark (16.4 overs) England (96/6) had fallen behind, needing to score 37 from 20 balls.
*Lauren Winfield (23) joint-top-scored until caught by Healy, off Megan Schutt’s fast-medium pace, in the 18th over. Katherine Brunt also scored 23, not out.
*Australia won by 16 runs.
Lead photo shows Alyssa Healy (keeping wicket) and Lauren Winfield (batting)