Review | CWC 22 | M#3 - AUS v ENG | Haynes-King Script Victory as Australia survives a 'Sciver'ing Onslaught
Written By: Suvam Maiti
Picture Courtesy: Getty Images
Australia continued their unbeaten run against England from the Ashes as they beat the defending champion England by 13 runs in the 3rd match of the World Cup. Despite all-rounder, Nat Sciver's unbeaten 105 from 89 balls, the Aussies held on to their nerves. 16 was needed from the last over and Meg Lanning opted for Jess Jonassen who had bowled only 2 overs for 16 in the match, over Perry and Sutherland. Jonassen justified the call as she picked up two wickets, including a stunner to get rid of Katherine Brunt to dent the English hope.
Haynes-Lanning Sets Up the Tone
As Healy fell to Sciver in the 9th over, after Knight chose to the ball first, captain Lanning joined her deputy, Haynes. Till then Healy punished anything that was short or overpitched in her 28 runs. Lanning and Haynes both of them took their time in the middle. They were batting together on the back of a whopping average of 62.5 in 25 innings together. The 7-century stands compared to the 5 half-centuries projects the fact once they spend time in the middle, it gets harder to get them out.
Australia was 77/1 after the end of 20 overs. The run-rate was below 4 which was not even Australian-esque. Though the duo was not finding the boundaries with ease, their running between the wickets kept the bowlers at bay. Occasional boundaries against Ecclestone or even the pacers meant the batters were not feeling the heat and steadily marching towards a big total.
Lanning completed her half-century and soon Haynes followed the suit. Heather Knight tried to break the momentum with frequent bowling changes. While Lanning's dream of a WC hundred ended against the tide. When it seemed like both the captain and vice-captain would complete their feat, Lanning fell at 86. Beth Mooney arrived as Haynes brought up her century off 115 balls, turning a single off Cross towards midwicket. It was her 2nd in ODI cricket and 1st in World Cup.
Mooney and Haynes took their partnership past fifty in just 29 deliveries as they set about carrying Australia towards the 300-mark and beyond. Ecclestone was brought in for the 46th over, conceded 11 while Haynes repeatedly sent her to boundaries. Though Haynes was removed on 130, but not before hitting Sciver out of the park. Perry's 3 boundaries in 5 balls took the score beyond the 300 run mark.
King continues to Rule
King was bought into the attack in the 26th over. England, by then had settled themselves despite the poor opening stand and loss of skipper Heather Knight. After the quiet first over where she went for 5 runs, King was smoked by Sciver who sent her to the boundary over mid-off. But a ball later, she produced the best bowl of the tournament. The leggie pitched it on a good length, Beaumont went down to play the line. But the ball whizzed past the prodding push of a batter who had faced 82 balls by then. England was 144/3. Beaumont who was playing a breeze innings was removed. On the 2nd ball of her next over she got rid of Amy Jones, one of the pillars of England's middle order. Jones has not been in good touch with the bat and as luck would have wanted it, she played a short ball from King straight to Haynes. In her first spell of 3 overs, two wickets turned the tide in favor of Australia..
As Perry went for 13 in an over, Lanning again turned to King, who stopped the run flow from the one end. In her next 5 overs, she just conceded one boundary and also picked up dangerous-looking Sophie Dunkley, as she did in the Ashes Tets Match. Dunkley went for a paddle shot, as the run rate was increasing, exposed her all the stumps, while King's delivery sneaked through the gap to dislodge the bails.
Despite Sciver sending her twice to the boundary in her penultimate over, and conceding 24 from her last two, her 10-0-59-3 was the most economical among the three spinners, while her scalps were valuable in the context of the game.
Sciver's Knock Went in Vain
Sciver, who came out to bat in the 19th over, got the tempo going from the start of her innings. Though her first boundary came on the 17th ball, against Sutherland, she had already scored 11 runs from 16. Wickets fell around her, but that did not stop her as she sent Perry for a boundary thrice in an over. Sciver completed her half-century in 43 balls and added 54 runs in 9 overs with Dunkley.
Once Dunkley was removed, she was joined by Katherine Brunt as the duo took the charge. She paddled a full ball to complete a remarkable century in just 79 balls. An innings that was crafted with 13 boundaries, though was not enough to earn a victory but re-established Nat Sciver as one of the giants of the modern-day cricket.
Australia: 310/3 (50 overs), Rachael Haynes 130 (131), Meg Lanning 85 (110), Nat Sciver 2-68 (10)
New Zealand: 298/8 (50), Nat Sciver 109* (85), Tammy Beaumont 74 (82), Alana King 3-59 (10)