Women’s sport weekly wrap: Australia lead the Ashes 4-0

Mary Konstantopoulos Columnist

By Mary Konstantopoulos, Mary Konstantopoulos is a Roar Expert

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    The Ashes has begun.

    With the Australian Women’s team win over the English Women’s team yesterday, Australia take a four-point lead in the multi-format series which will see the two teams take part in a series of ODIs, a Test match and three T20 Internationals.

    The series started last Sunday at Allan Border Oval. With more rain in a single week than Brisbane had experienced in the months leading up to the game, we were lucky to have any cricket at all.

    On the day before the game, the grounds staff slept during the day and woke up at 6pm to work all through the night to drain the moisture from the ground.

    There were a couple of shock selections in the Australian women’s team, most notably the omission of leg-spinner Kristen Beams and former opener Beth Mooney. Alyssa Healy was promoted to top of the order and youngster Amanda-Jade Wellington was introduced into Australia’s bowling attack.

    During the England innings, Alyssa Healy spent some time mic-ed up. When she was asked what the Aussies were hoping to restrict the English innings to, she answered “around 280”. You can imagine my confidence when Australia dismissed England for 228 thanks to some clever bowling from Ashleigh Gardner (3/47), Ellyse Perry (2/50) and Amanda-Jade Wellington, who was one of Australia’s most economical bowlers at 3.90.

    This bowling was backed up by some magnificent fielding. Megan Schutt took two catches to dismiss opener Tammy Beaumont and Laura Marsh and Elyse Villani danced along the boundary displaying tremendous poise to take a catch to dismiss Natalie Sciver for 36.

    However, my confidence turned to nervous energy when Australia’s opening batters of Alyssa Healy (18) and Nicole Bolton (5) were both dismissed cheaply and early.

    In the end, there were two players that made the difference.

    In England’s innings, the highest score was 48. What lacked from the English innings was a single player who dominated and who managed to score a large total.

    For Australia, that batter was Alex Blackwell.

    At 34 years old, Alex is the most experienced woman in the Australian line-up. She ended up unbeaten on 67 and her 63-run partnership with fellow Sydney Thunder teammate Rachael Haynes steadied the Australian innings.

    Ashleigh Gardner was fearless in her innings as well. Despite only being 20 years old, Ashleigh came in during the closing stages of the game and hit two sixes on her way to scoring 27 runs off 18 balls.

    Despite Alex’s exceptional innings, it was Jess Jonassen who scored the winning runs, sending the ball to cover boundary with just five balls to spare.

    Then onto yesterday’s second ODI at Coffs Harbour where Australia won by 75 runs.

    The Australian Women’s team posted a record total, making 296 in their 50-over innings. Alex Blackwell may have been the stand out in the first ODI, but in this game, four Australians made half-centuries: Alyssa Healy (56), Nicole Bolton (66), Ellyse Perry (67) and Rachael Haynes (89*). In particular, Rachael Haynes led as captain, making her 89* off 56.

    This game was also impacted by weather. Unfortunately though, in contrast to Brisbane where rain affected the lead-up, rain affected the game itself, and the Duckworth Lewis rule came into play after rain interrupted the English innings.

    Additionally, Ellyse Perry was ruled out of the attack early after bowling two deliveries in a row above waist-height, due to a slippery ball.

    Luckily, Australia still had another five bowlers to select from after selecting six in their line-up.

    Perry’s ineligibility to bowl potentially gave each of Amanda-Jade Wellington and Tahlia McGrath the opportunity to bowl more. Each of them were able to jag their first wickets for Australia with Amanda-Jade dismissing Heather Knight LBW for 36 and Taylor being dismissed for 26 after being caught by Healy.

    That wicket certainly brought plenty of nostalgia with the scorecard reading: c Healy b McGrath.

    Other standout moments included some excellent fielding, in particular catches by Ellyse Perry to dismiss Fran Wilson on 37 and Elyse Villani to dismiss Anya Shrubsole for 21.

    Katherine Brunt also managed to score her first ODI 50, making 52 off 54 balls.

    While England may go into the dressing sheds dejected after a second consecutive loss, there’s more cricket to come, with Australia taking on England in the third ODI on Sunday. Australia are just four points away from sealing an Ashes victory. It’s not over yet.

    I’ll also wrap up each game. For a bit of fun, I thought I would award a 3, 2, 1 for each game and see who my player of the series is at the end.

    Game 1
    3 – Alex Blackwell
    2 – Ashleigh Gardner
    1 – Megan Schutt

    Game 2
    3 – Rachael Haynes
    2 – Megan Schutt
    1 – Amanda-Jade Wellington

    Ashleigh Gardner Australia women's cricket tall

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    W-League
    The 2017/2018 season launched in Sydney on Monday and there has been plenty of movement over the off-season.

    Matildas youngster Ellie Carpenter has moved from the Western Sydney Wanderers Women to join Canberra United.

    Hayley Raso has moved from Canberra United to the Brisbane Roar Women.

    Laura Alleway has moved from the Melbourne City Women to the Melbourne Victory Women.

    Newcastle FC’s biggest signing is Emily van Engmond and Lisa de Vanna will be joining the Sydney FC Women.

    While Alannah Kennedy’s move from the Melbourne City Women to the Melbourne Victory Women has attracted most of the headlines, Yukari Kinga is also a significant signing. Yukari is a genius in the midfield and will make Alannah and her defensive partner’s job a lot easier.

    The W-League begins tonight with two games: the Sydney FC Women will play the Brisbane Roar Women and the Perth Glory Women will play the Melbourne City Women.

    Mary Konstantopoulos
    Mary Konstantopoulos

    Mary Konstantopoulos is a lawyer, sports advocate and proud owner and founder of the Ladies Who empire, including Ladies who League, Ladies who Legspin, Ladies who Lineout and Ladies who Leap. You can find her podcast on iTunes and find her on Twitter @mary__kaye and @ladieswholeague.

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    The Crowd Says (34)

    • October 27th 2017 @ 7:39am
      Kangajets said | October 27th 2017 @ 7:39am | ! Report

      Exciting times for the Newcastle Jets especially now Emily van Egmond has come back to Newcastle.

      • Columnist

        October 27th 2017 @ 9:59am
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | October 27th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

        There have been some great signings haven’t there! I’m really looking forward to the W-league this season.

    • October 27th 2017 @ 7:50am
      Onside said | October 27th 2017 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      How demeaning and shortsighted that women’s cricket adopt the ASHES rather than developing their own brand.

      • Editor

        October 27th 2017 @ 8:51am
        Benjamin Conkey said | October 27th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        I suggest you look up the origins of how The Ashes started.

        • October 27th 2017 @ 9:09am
          Onside said | October 27th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

          I looked up the origins Ben, even though I had a vague idea, and genuinely
          do not understand what you are trying to tell me.

          What is the link between an over century year old contest played by men ,
          and the relatively new adaptation played by women.

          • Editor

            October 27th 2017 @ 9:49am
            Benjamin Conkey said | October 27th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

            The Ashes ‘brand’ you talk of was forged by a group of Melbourne women who presented the original urn to Ivo Bligh. Anyway, Onside can’t we just celebrate the Aussies having success? Rachael Haynes 89 off 56 balls! What a captain’s knock.

            • October 27th 2017 @ 9:52am
              Onside said | October 27th 2017 @ 9:52am | ! Report

              Thanks Ben. Read that, but didn’t get it.

            • Columnist

              October 27th 2017 @ 10:00am
              Mary Konstantopoulos said | October 27th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

              And just playing great cricket…

            • October 27th 2017 @ 12:51pm
              I ate pies said | October 27th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              Ashes isn’t a “brand”, it’s a tradition borne from a newspaper article in England. It’s the tradition between the Australian cricket team and the England cricket team. The women should make their own tradition.

              • October 27th 2017 @ 2:36pm
                matth said | October 27th 2017 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

                You have no problem with the men’s world cup I take it? Even if they didn’t call it the Ashes the commentators and fans probably would, as it’s a convenient short hand for an Australia England cricket series.

              • October 27th 2017 @ 7:33pm
                I ate pies said | October 27th 2017 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

                What? What’s the World Cup got to do with the ashes? I really don’t understand what your point is.

      • October 27th 2017 @ 8:54am
        George said | October 27th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

        Can’t stand to see women do anything but exist to adorn your ignorance eh? Pathetic.

        • October 27th 2017 @ 9:01am
          Onside said | October 27th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          It’s not meant to be pathetic George, but what I do not understand ,is why adopt an
          established brand when over time they could develop their own very strong identity.

      • October 27th 2017 @ 9:34am
        Torchbearer said | October 27th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        Demeaning? There are many terribly demeaning things that happen in the world, this is not one of them.

        • October 27th 2017 @ 9:46am
          Onside said | October 27th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          Bad choice of words. Agree Torchbearer. What I tried to get at , was why Womens Cricket,
          with all its recent advances and exposure , needed to adopt the name ASHES, instead of
          developing their own identifiable brand.

          • Columnist

            October 27th 2017 @ 10:00am
            Mary Konstantopoulos said | October 27th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

            And Onside, the Women have been playing the Ashes series for many years – it’s just they have had very little coverage of it until now.

            • October 27th 2017 @ 10:10am
              Onside said | October 27th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

              What I like about this site Mary, is there’s always something to learn .

            • October 27th 2017 @ 3:50pm
              Maggie said | October 27th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

              The women’s Australia v England cricket series has been called the Women’s Ashes for the last 19 years so I suggest it is a bit late to be complaining about it now.

              The teams compete for a (very attractive) Ashes trophy which contains the ashes of a miniature cricket bat (which had been signed by the players from the then two teams) burnt at a ceremony at Lord’s in 1998.

              http://www.cricket.com.au/news/womens-ashes-history-trophy-belinda-clark-charlotte-edwards/2015-06-26

              • October 27th 2017 @ 5:10pm
                Onside said | October 27th 2017 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

                I’m not complaining Maggie , just ill informed. I wish now that I had had the
                conversation in a bar, rather than the Roar. Ah well , I’ve learned something

              • October 27th 2017 @ 5:15pm
                Maggie said | October 27th 2017 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

                Ah but then you would have had to shout us all a round!

              • October 27th 2017 @ 5:48pm
                Onside said | October 27th 2017 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

                and Maggie , compared with today’s stuff , I would have been happy too

              • October 27th 2017 @ 7:34pm
                I ate pies said | October 27th 2017 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

                That’s about as lame as it gets.

    • October 27th 2017 @ 12:04pm
      JohnB said | October 27th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

      Incidentally, “the Ashes” gets used in at least one other sport besides cricket in connection with Australia/England matches – rugby league – so there’s another basis on which women’s cricket has some justification in using the name. I suspect there’d be other sports in which such matches are commonly referred to at least unofficially by the Ashes name.

      • October 27th 2017 @ 7:35pm
        I ate pies said | October 27th 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

        Because they also ripped it off?

    • Roar Guru

      October 27th 2017 @ 12:24pm
      Scott Pryde said | October 27th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

      Absolutely brilliant stuff yesterday from Haynes. Superb innings.

      • Columnist

        October 27th 2017 @ 1:12pm
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | October 27th 2017 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

        And so fascinating Scott that less than a year ago she was considering giving the game away. It’s so special to see her captaining and to be relishing every opportunity she is getting to represent her country.

        • October 27th 2017 @ 9:12pm
          John Erichsen said | October 27th 2017 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

          Agreed, Mary. Her appointment as skipper was quite a bolt out of the blue. Her performances since that appointment indicate that selectors faith in her has been justified.

    • October 27th 2017 @ 2:07pm
      matth said | October 27th 2017 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

      Good report on the cricket so far. I would have given Wellington 1 point for game one over Schutt and given Perry the point for game two. Her batting is so consistent, these days a strong fifty is almost an expectation. She overages over 77 over the last three years and hits a fifty in 65% of innings.

      • Columnist

        October 27th 2017 @ 2:55pm
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | October 27th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

        It’s funny, matth because the 1 point was the hardest in both games! It could have gone to a great number of players (especially the two you mentioned). For me, it just shows how strong the team is!!

      • October 27th 2017 @ 3:00pm
        Maggie said | October 27th 2017 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

        And Perry took that brilliant outfield catch yesterday as well. She is a superb allround athlete.

    • October 27th 2017 @ 4:13pm
      Maggie said | October 27th 2017 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

      I commented yesterday (on Scott’s excellent Roar blog coverage of the women’s ODI) how much I was enjoying the Channel 9 FTA TV coverage of these matches. The women commentators (past Australian and English players) are knowledgeable about the cricket and the current players – and that’s what they talk about with no gossipy or irrelevant nonsense. And perhaps they have influenced Taylor, Healy and Slater who in my opinion are much better than we usually hear from them over the summer. None of the blokey carry-on we get during the men’s matches.

      Disappointingly Channel 9 won’t be covering the test match but as I live in Sydney and the test will be held at Drummoyne I hope to go to watch it. It will be a day/night Pink Test, raising funds for the McGrath Foundation, which should add to the spectacle.

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