Alice Capsey says England can play even better after levelling Ashes series

By Sports Desk July 12, 2023

Alice Capsey warned Australia that England are yet to play their best cricket despite levelling the Women’s Ashes by winning the opening ODI at Bristol.

England secured a nerve-shredding two-wicket win to wipe out the 6-0 deficit suffered after losing the series’ solitary Test and the opening T20 clash.

Australia need to win only one of the two remaining ODIs at Southampton and Taunton to retain the Ashes but they have now lost three consecutive games for the first time since 2017.

“We were 6-0 down but we took a lot of confidence from the Test match because we saw how close we were to winning that,” said number three batter Capsey, 18, who struck 40 from 34 balls in England’s victorious reply of 267 for eight.

“We had another narrow loss in the opening T20 at Edgbaston, but we were pretty confident that once we got that first win we would go on a streak.

“The whole series we haven’t been at our best. In the T20s we were playing at 80 per cent and we weren’t at our best again here.

“But to get over the line in pressure moments when previously we would have crumbled a little bit is great. We were so calm out there, which is something we have focused on.

“It’s really exciting we haven’t played our best cricket and it’s six-all.”

The power hitting of Capsey and Tammy Beaumont was in danger of going to waste after England had reached 103 for one in the 12th over, chasing 264 to win.

Wickets fell at regular intervals and it was left to skipper Heather Knight and Kate Cross, coming in at 10, to get England over the line.

Cross joined Knight in the 44th over, with their partnership of 32 proving pivotal as England triumphed with 11 balls to spare.

Knight made 75 from 86 balls while Cross’ cameo of 19 from 20 deliveries included an audacious ramp shot over the head of Australia’s wicketkeeping captain Alyssa Healey.

Capsey said: “Crossy batted brilliantly – she can bat at three! She came in and played to her strengths.

“We saw her bravery whether it was the ramp or hitting Jonno (Jess Jonassen) down the ground. It was unbelievable to watch.

“She loves the ramp and probably plays it the best out of the whole group. If you don’t see a Kate Cross ramp you might be asking her: ‘Are you OK?'”

Looking ahead to the Ashes’ climax, Capsey added: “We’ve shown a lot of fight in this series that previously we might not have.

“Australia are the most successful cricket team and we knew it was going to be a real challenge.

“We were the underdogs coming into the series but we have put the pressure on the Aussies. They are still a quality side and we go again at the Ageas (in Southampton).”

Australia benefited from the hosts spilling four catches while wicketkeeper Amy Jones missed out on a stumping from a legside wide.

“It would have been really nice to snatch that one at the end when they were under the pump and eight down,” said Australia batter Beth Mooney, who top scored for the tourists with an unbeaten 81.

“We certainly haven’t put out best foot forward at this point and we know we’ve got to give a lot more when it comes to executing our skills.

“I don’t think we’re that far off. Unfortunately we didn’t capitalise on the opportunities to put pressure on England.

“We’ve let ourselves down in the last couple of games, but there’s no complacency.”

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