McConnochie's England debut in doubt

By Sports Desk August 16, 2019

Ruaridh McConnochie's England debut may be delayed further due to him suffering muscle soreness prior to Saturday's encounter against Wales.

The Bath winger had been due to face Warren Gatland's side in last weekend's reverse encounter at Twickenham, which England won 33-19, only to miss out with a hip problem.

Head coach Eddie Jones said McConnochie's issue is not the same as the one that saw him sit out last time around, but his chances of playing at the Principality Stadium are in doubt.

"Ruaridh pulled up a bit sore today so we're not 100 per cent sure how he’ll be," Jones said on Friday.

"We'll find out later tonight. It's not the same injury. He's just sore, so we'll find out about it."

There was better news on the progress of Mako Vunipola, though, with the Saracens prop close to returning from the hamstring injury he sustained towards the back end of last season.

"Mako did a bit of extra work at the end of training today, a bit of contact work. A bit of defence work. He should get some time next weekend against Ireland," Jones added.

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    "It's taken four months out of a career and the stage I had got myself to where I was playing quite nicely," said Burns.

    "It was an avoidable setback and when you get something that's avoidable like that you probably re-evaluate whether you want to waste your time doing four months in a gym rehabbing or being on a plane to Sri Lanka.

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    "It was a bit freakish. Most people roll their ankle on the outside; I did going over to the inside. I think my studs got caught in the floor. But if that's the catalyst to put things right and maybe say you don't need it and keep the boys on the park, it's probably a good thing in a weird way.

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    Nattaya Boochatham, leading T20I wicket-taker in the world in 2019, sparked wild celebrations as her arm ball beat a charging Amy Jones and she was stumped second ball.

    Opening partner Danni Wyatt then perished for a golden duck, slicing Soraya Lateh to cover point where Wongpaka Liengprasert dived forward to take an excellent catch.

    Just as in their defeat to the Proteas in Perth, Sciver combined security with expansive stroke play to grasp the impetus, scoring her third half-century in four innings.

    Knight showed similar restraint and punished medium-pacer Chanida Sutthiruang when she strayed leg side, twice hooking to the boundary as the pair raced to a 50 stand from 34 balls.

    Knight swept Ratanaporn Padunglerd over backward square for six to reach her half-century from 34 balls, another expertly-judged sweep notching up the 100 stand in the 15th over.

    The England captain moved past 90, lifting Liengprasert over long-on in an over that cost 17, and became the fourth England player to reach three figures with a cut for two in the final over.

    Knight has a remarkable record at Manuka Oval, with all four of her T20I 50+ scores coming in Australia’s capital, the most of any woman at a single venue in the format.

    Her side posted an imposing 176 for two and it took just four balls of the Thai reply to strike, Anya Shrubsole jagging one back through Boochatham’s defences and trapping her lbw for 0.

    Natthakan Chantam impressed with her power through the off-side, driving Katherine Brunt handsomely to the cover boundary and then cutting Sciver to the fence inside the Powerplay.

    With the fielding restrictions relaxed, the flow of runs ground to a virtual halt with 12 runs coming from five overs from spinners Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Knight.

    Ecclestone’s metronomic accuracy was rewarded with the second wicket as her quicker one foxed Chantam and pinned her in front for 32 from 53 balls.

    Wickets tumbled with Sciver pouching two in an over as Nannapat Khoncharoenkai was bowled slashing across the line and Sutthiruang found mid-on.

    Shrubsole returned to remove Thailand skipper Sornarrin Tippoch, stumped off a wide for one, before Liengprasert was run out by the seamer to make it 62 for six.

    England's resounding victory was capped when Shrubsole forced Onnicha Kamchomphu to chip to mid-off from the penultimate delivery.

     

    Scores in brief

     

    England beat Thailand by 98 runs, Manuka Oval, Canberra

     

    England 176-2, 20 overs (Heather Knight 108 not out, Nat Sciver 59 not out; Nattaya Boochatham 1-18)

    Thailand 78-7, 20 overs (Natthakan Chantham 32; Anya Shrubsole 3-21, Nat Sciver 2-5)

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