A magnificent century by Shai Hope has powered West Indies to a thrilling four-wicket victory over England in the first of three one-day internationals…
The dominance of the Australian Women’s Cricket team in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup has continued with a seven wicket win over the West Indies in Wellington.
This was an important win for Australia with the West Indies already toppling New Zealand and England and proving that they are one of the contenders for a top four position.
It’s been an exciting week in the tournament with England suffering their third straight defeat at the hands of South Africa and Bangladesh celebrating its first women’s ODI World Cup win after a batting collapse from Pakistan which saw Pakistan lose 5-5.
Australia’s depth has been a constant talking point during this campaign and leading into the game against the West Indies there were further changes. Amanda-Jade Wellington and Darcie Brown were omitted from the squad and replaced by Annabel Sutherland and Jess Jonassen.
According to captain Meg Lanning, the decision was based on ‘conditions and match-up’ and considering Australia’s dominance in this game, Lanning and the selectors were proven right.
With conversation about a ‘changing of the guard’ taking place in the Aussie women’s team, Ellyse Perry showed why she is still such a key member of this Australian team.
Perry claimed 3-16 in her first six overs, claiming the key wickets of openers Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews and also Kycia Knight. This left the West Indies at 3-34 in the Power Play. Incredibly over 75 per cent of Perry’s deliveries were dot balls.
It was a real ‘team effort’ by the bowlers with Ashleigh Gardner finishing her 10 overs with career best ODI figures of 3/25, including the key wicked of Stafanie Taylor. Jessica Jonassen also took two wickets with Megan Schutt claiming one.
The resilience of this Aussie women’s team keeps getting put into sharp focus. During the Women’s Ashes series, we saw Beth Mooney bat with a broken jaw. In this tournament we have seen Gardner return following COVID and she has not missed a beat; dominating with the bat in the win against the White Ferns and now with ball in hand against the Windies.
Due to the combined effort of Australia’s bowlers, the West Indies were bowled out for a very modest total of 131.
With the professionalisation of the women’s game here in Australia we have seen several key improvements in women’s cricket across the board.
One of the biggest improvements, in my view, has been the fielding. That’s unsurprising given that professionalisation results in players having more time to finesse their craft, but also to devote more time to fitness, strength and conditioning.
We saw Australia’s talents in the field on show today with Meg Lanning taking an incredible dive at slip to help dismiss Dottin. Later in the innings, Sutherland took a catch giving Megan Schutt her first wicket.
Across the tournament, fielding has been very hit and miss, particularly by some of the less experienced teams like Pakistan. I dare say it has been the difference between the teams sitting on top of the rankings and the teams languishing at the bottom.
The next key area which I think we will see improvement in across the women’s game, but particularly in Australia is in pace bowling. With the support of coaching staff like Ben Sawyer, the likes of Darcie Brown and Stella Campbell are already bowling quickly, with many years still left to develop.
It’s an exciting time for the women’s game.
For a modest total, Australia certainly didn’t make the chase look easy.
Alyssa Healy was dismissed for three, Lanning for a duck and Perry for 10.
Once again, it was Haynes who led the Aussie’s home, scoring an unbeaten 83 off 95 balls. This puts Haynes back at the top of the tournament runs table.
Australia’s next game is against India at Eden Park on Saturday.
With Australia sitting pretty at the top of the table, the next few days will be crucial for determining who will join Australia in the top four. England are set to play India next (with England looking for their first win of the Tournament) and host nation New Zealand will play South Africa.