Aussie fielding a shambles as women’s Ashes ends in 8-8 draw

Mary Konstantopoulos Columnist

By Mary Konstantopoulos, Mary Konstantopoulos is a Roar Expert

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19 Have your say

    In an unbelievable performance, England has defeated Australia by four wickets in the final T20 in Manuka, levelling the women’s Ashes series 8-8.

    The Southern Stars retain the Ashes, as they won the last series, but this will be little consolation for an Australian team that was looking to win outright.

    England will be confident and proud to have fought back so well, particularly considering that the urn was won by the conclusion of the first T20 – and at one point, the home side led the series 4-0.

    For the home side, it’s a disappointing end to a special tournament.

    This will always be remembered as the series where Ellyse Perry made 213* and where the Richies lit up Day 2 at North Sydney Oval.

    It will go down in history as the first women’s Ashes series televised on Channel Nine and to which the Australian public could buy tickets.

    It’s hard to fathom how Australia lost this match, particularly after posting a score of 178 in an opening innings where only two wickets fell – Alyssa Healy caught by Katherine Brunt on 19, and Elyse Villani bowled by Sophie Eccelstone on 16.

    The shining light was Beth Mooney’s 117* off 70 balls – an immense strike rate of 167.14 – hitting 19 fours and 1 six. What’s more, her fifty was the second she’s scored this T20 series, and her ton was only the second by an Australian woman in an international T20 (the other belongs to Meg Lanning).

    Australia must have been feeling confident when England came in to bat, and even more so after snatching early wickets.

    Tammy Beaumont was caught by Ashleigh Gardner on 1, Sarah Taylor was caught by Rachael Haynes on 5, and Natalie Sciver was run out by Elyse Villani on 7.

    But then things started to go horribly wrong, with fielding once again the culprit.

    On several occasions throughout these Ashes, captain Rachael Haynes has said her team prides itself on its fielding. Throughout the ODI series and the Test that was a claim I could believe. But then something changed for the shortest format.

    In the first T20, Australia dropped at least five catches. In the second, another three were dropped. By the third, Australia put down four and played England right back into the match.

    You could see how disappointed both Molly Strano and Alyssa Healy were when they put down two catches each and rightly so.

    I’m struggling to understand how this can happen given fielding is such a fundamental skill in all formats. Why such a tremendous difference between fielding in the Test and ODI compared to T20?

    Could it be because the pressure in T20s to field tightly is more intense and the Aussies struggle to maintain it? If that’s the case, this is a major concern for many of these players heading into the WBBL.

    Whatever the reason, it simply is not good enough at an international level.

    Australia women's cricket

    AAP Image/Dave Hunt

    England’s performance with the bat overshadowed what should have been Beth Mooney’s night.

    The star of their performance was Dani Wyatt, who scored 100 runs off 57 balls. She was closely followed by captain Heather Knight, who rectified her last three innings – consisting of 4, 0 and 0 – with 51 off 37 balls.

    It was a disappointing end for the Aussies, who have not managed to win a bilateral T20 series since 2015, and is a major concern ahead of the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20.

    But let’s finish on the positives.

    If you are a fan of women’s cricket, the summer is just getting started.

    Now that the Ashes are complete, each member of the Australian team will fly home to their respective states to compete in Round 2 of the Women’s National Cricket League, which takes place this weekend.

    Following completion of that round, the countdown is well and truly on to the WBBL, which kicks off on 9 December with a two-day festival planned for opening weekend at North Sydney Oval. I encourage everyone to make the effort to get along!

    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 (19)

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 6:05am
      fp11 said | November 22nd 2017 @ 6:05am | ! Report

      Absolute disgrace! At one point I wondered if some of the girls were drunk or drugged. Fielding was that pathetic. Even that last run out by Healy, she barely makes an effort and just manages to run out the English player. There are a number of players in last night’s squad that should never play for Australia again – Villani, Gardner, Kimmince, Strano. Also Perry’s batting is not suited for T20, she takes forever to get going. She score 22 out of 20, not good enough.

      England was much better throughout the series. They were unlucky to lose that first ODI, Aussies just managed to scrape in and they had a couple of important calls go against them.

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 7:27am
        republican said | November 22nd 2017 @ 7:27am | ! Report

        ……very disappointing.
        This loss takes much of the sheen off any ‘Ashes’ spoils.
        Well done to England though, to draw the series away from home is a great achievement while Australia’s performance looks mediocre by comparison……….

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 6:13am
      Mike Dugg said | November 22nd 2017 @ 6:13am | ! Report

      Looked like 11 Phil Tufnells out there.

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 7:31am
      Kurt said | November 22nd 2017 @ 7:31am | ! Report

      This comment has been removed for breaching The Roar’s comments policy.

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 7:59am
        republican said | November 22nd 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        ……but in comparison with the English Womens fielding??

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 8:08am
      Curious George said | November 22nd 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

      Too many lollypop dropped catches

      An absolute shambles and a disgrace

      The womens cricket was a good prologue to the main Ashes event but this game was a nightmare.

      England the better side throughout

      If Perry didnt shake it around and score big we would have lost it all man

    • Roar Guru

      November 22nd 2017 @ 8:08am
      Red Kev said | November 22nd 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

      Ignoring the two pillocks commenting above, I think the Southern Stars suffered from a drop of intensity after retaining the Ashes and then coupled it with not being able to put the previous drops behind them mentally they got that snowball effect of one thing goes wrong then another then another and they can’t get it back under control. Happens to all teams. Healy had a ‘mare though.

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 12:05pm
        James said | November 22nd 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

        It doesnt happen to all teams, not to that degree. It was a shocking display, you have to call it what it was instead of being patronising to the ladies team. They were rubbish yesterday.

        • Roar Guru

          November 22nd 2017 @ 3:57pm
          Red Kev said | November 22nd 2017 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

          It does happen to all teams, it doesn’t happen all the time. Quicksand is a real performance issue, mental becomes manifest as physical and it seems like everything is just going wrong and you can’t get it under control and the harder you try the worse you get.

          You also need to learn what the word patronising means.

          • November 22nd 2017 @ 10:34pm
            fp11 said | November 22nd 2017 @ 10:34pm | ! Report

            No, he doesn’t need to learn the meaning of the word patronising. By saying that those things just happen to all teams sooner or later you are excusing their (rightly called by James) rubbish performance. By excusing their performance with something that you call “Quicksand?!” you are belittling their professionalism and you are treating them with disdain (not giving them respect they deserve). And if you treat someone with disdain you are in fact being patronising.

    • Roar Guru

      November 22nd 2017 @ 8:26am
      mds1970 said | November 22nd 2017 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      Being a dead rubber, the pressure was off. But some very sloppy fielding last night.
      Not the result we wanted last night; but a very enjoyable Womens Ashes series. Ellyse Perry’s double century the highlight.

      Hoping to get to North Sydney Oval in a couple of weeks for the WBBL opener.

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