Australia 97/2 Perry 47*, Lanning 41*
England 96/10 Davidson-Richards 24 Kimmince 3-20, Schutt 2-13
by eight wickets
For a brief while, before over number 6, England must have weaved dreams of triggering an Australian collapse in the 5th T20I of the tri-series. In the very first over of the Australian innings chasing a meager target of 97, Alyssa Healy (6 from 4 balls) top-edged a rising delivery from Natalie Sciver to deep midwicket where Jenny Gunn clung on to an extremely low catch. In the third over by Sophie Ecclestone, another short ball accounted for Elyse Villani (1 from 5 balls). She pulled it only to find Sciver at short midwicket. Australia were tottering at 12/2. Skipper Meg Lanning, flush from her stunning one-handed catch to dismiss Sciver, then located her missing form when Danielle Hazell came on for a bowl.
She targeted the cover boundary in the first three balls. She swept to the fine-leg for her fourth boundary. On the 5th ball, the cover boundary was once again in business. 5 out of 5 and anticipation was high for the completion of the set. It was not to be as Heather Knight put in a fantastic effort at cover to keep the sixth ball to a single. However, Lanning’s dashing display took the wind out of England’s sails. Australia were 42/2, with nearly half the score knocked off. Lanning’s fantastic day wasn’t yet over. In the next over, she reached the milestone of 2000 runs in T20I cricket, a first for any Australian cricketer-male or female- in T20I cricket. Thereafter, Lanning (41* from 28 balls) and Ellyse Perry (47* from 32 balls) strolled to guide Australia to victory.
It was a sobering loss for England after their thumping victory over Australia in the round 1 encounter. It was a collective batting failure for England. Danielle Wyatt (6 from 4 balls) was deceived in flight by Jess Jonassen and ended up holing out to mid-on in the first over. Tammy Beaumont (17 from 12 balls) was done in by slightly extra pace by Delissa Kimmince after receiving a flurry of slower balls earlier in the over and edged into the wicketkeeper’s gloves. A short ball by Ellyse Perry was top-edged by Amy Jones (4 from 8 balls) to square-leg. In over 6, Sciver (10 from 9 balls) was undone by the aforementioned brilliant catch by Lanning. Sciver wanted to clear mid-off, but Lanning leaped into the air and plucked the ball with one hand. In the next over, Heather Knight (0 from 3 balls), in a moment of madness, failed to latch on to a full toss by Amanda-Jade Wellington and was caught plumb lbw in front of middle and leg while attempting to paddle sweep.
England were in tatters at 42/5 from 7 overs. Alice Davidson-Richards and Fran Wilson then attempted to steady the sinking ship. It was slow crawling at first, but Davidson-Richards gradually grew more confident in her stroke play. At that stage, England looked good for a 110 plus score. But the hope didn’t last for long. Wilson (11 from 15 balls) played a cross-batted shot and found the fielder at long-on in the 11th over. Davidson-Richards manufactured shots to collect 14 runs in the next over, the most expensive of the innings. Australia again struck back with two wickets of Gunn (12 from 12 balls) and Hazell (0 from 3 balls) in Kimmince’s third over. Kimmince ended up with figures of 3-20, a satisfying outing for her. Davidson-Richards finally departed for 24 from 24 balls in the 16th over when she tried to clear long-off by stepping down the track only to find Rachael Haynes. She ended up being the top scorer of the innings.
Ecclestone was bowled by Megan Schutt for 5 and England’s innings ended at 96, a sorry looking scorecard indeed. For her all-round performance, Perry was adjudged the Player of the Match.