Sciver unbeaten century not enough as England fall to arch-rivals Australia Featured

By ICC-CRICKET March 05, 2022 465

Nat Sciver's unbeaten century went in vain as Australia managed to defend a total of 311 against arch-rivals England in their opening match at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022.

After a thriller in the opening day of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, fans were treated to yet another close encounter. Defending 311, Australia managed to hold their nerve with England needing 16 off the last over. Jess Jonassen gave away just three runs as the Aussies put their first points on board in the World Cup standings.

While several Aussie bowlers chipped in with wickets, it was Alana King who turned the game in the middle overs with three wickets, including the important scalp of Tammy Beaumont.            LoadureFullscreen

Chasing a daunting target of 311, Australia, through Megan Schutt, dented England early in the innings with the wicket of Lauren Winfield-Hill for a duck. Annabel Sutherland took a brilliant diving catch, plucking the ball inches off the ground to give the Aussies the early breakthrough.

England captain Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont took a couple of overs to get their eye in but made up for it in the Powerplay, finishing on 53/1 at the end of 10 overs.

Beaumont raced to a fifty off 54 deliveries but Knight fell 10 runs short of the milestone – Tahlia McGrath forced a soft dismissal as the skipper was caught at covers, thus ending a brilliant 92-run partnership between the pair.

Nat Sciver and Beaumont had to rebuild the innings again after the dismissal, but the wicket of the England opener pegged them back. With a brilliant leg break that would have made the late Shane Warne proud, Alana King beat Beaumont in the air and off the surface and Alyssa Healy did the rest behind the stumps.

One brought two for King as Amy Jones departed soon without troubling the scorers much. At the other end, Sciver brought up her half-century but kept losing partners, Danni Wyatt this time departing for 7.

Sciver and Sophia Dunkley led England's recovery with a 55-run stand for the sixth wicket. It looked like the partnership could take England home but King once again broke through, bowling Dunkley around the legs.

With Katherine Brunt keeping her company, Sciver put the foot on the accelerator as the required rate climbed to almost 10 and brought up her 100.

With the equation down to 26 off the last two, McGrath and Jess Jonassen held their nerve. The former gave away just 10 from the penultimate over and Jonassen picked two wickets in the final over, including a stunning return grab to dismiss Brunt, as England fell 12 runs short.

Earlier in the day, a 196-run stand for the second wicket between Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning formed the crux of the innings. Haynes went on to make a brilliant 130 – her second ODI century – while Lanning was dismissed for 86 by Katherine Brunt.

 

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