The Australian Women’s Team began their preparations for the Ashes by playing two practice matches against England Academy Women. The matches were played in Loughborough and featured a full-strength Australian side getting some game time ahead of the Ashes campaign.
On the other end, England Academy Women comprised of certain players who could also feature in the England Women’s Team in the Ashes – namely Fran Wilson, Bryony Smith and Alex Hartley. Fran and Bryony also played the third ODI of the recently concluded series against the West Indies. Both the matches were played at Loughborough – one on June 26th and one on June 28th.
Match 1 – Australia Women Vs England Academy Women – 26th June 2019
The first match was affected by rain which reduced the match to 39-overs per side. Australia won the toss and chose to field first.
The Australian bowlers were immediately rewarded when their strike bowler, Megan Schutt, took a wicket in the third over of the innings. However, Bryony Smith forged a sizable stand with Fran Wilson for the second wicket and later Georgia Elwiss for the fourth to take them to 119/3 before she was dismissed by Delissa Kimmince for 68. Alice Davidson-Richards came in and added another 50 runs with Georgia Elwiss before she fell to Ellyse Perry. Jess Jonassen then picked up 2 quick wickets restrict the innings to 184/7 in their 39 overs. Elwiss remained unbeaten on 48. Among the Australian bowlers, Jess Jonassen was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets while Schutt, Perry, Kimmince and Nicola Carey picked up a wicket each.
The Australian innings did not get off to a very good start with them losing Ellyse Villani and their captain, Meg Lanning, cheaply to reduce them to 25/2. Alyssa Healy scored 35 off 28 balls to try to wrest some control but she was also dismissed by Freya Davies to have them in trouble at 49/3. Then, Ellyse Perry combined with Rachel Haynes with a partnership of 60 runs for the fourth wicket before she got out for 38 runs. However, Beth Mooney and Rachel Haynes knocked of the remaining runs to win comfortably with 6 wickets and 7.4 overs remaining. Both Haynes and Mooney remained unbeaten on 55 and 45 respectively. Freya Davies was the pick of the bowlers with 2 wickets while Kristie Gordon and Georgia Elwiss picked up a wicket each.
The stand-out performers for Australia in this practice match were Rachel Haynes, Beth Mooney, and Jess Jonassen. Alyssa Healy also sparked with the bat but got out at the wrong time. Elysse Perry also had a good outing with her all-round performance.