Ashes Cricket (PS4): England Women vs. PNG Women ODI

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Following the trouncing at the hands of New Zealand, England’s Women hosted Papua New Guinea, in what turned out to be a thrilling encounter on the south coast.

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Lauren Winfield was tamely dismissed first ball but fellow opener Tammy Beaumont (67) and wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor (37) set about rebuilding for the hosts. Taylor, who was dismissed for a golden duck against New Zealand, was controversially adjudged run out however captain Heather Knight (61) carried on the good work alongside Beaumont. Unfortunately for England, after their two half-centurions departed, there weren’t many more contributions. From 154-2, England subsided to an underwhelming 222 all out.

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Natalie Sciver, who made a scintillating 115 against New Zealand, was the victim of an appalling LBW decision when on 16. England had already wasted both of their reviews, much to the frustration of Surrey’s Sciver. From then on, nobody from numbers six to eleven managed to reach double figures.

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World Cup hero Anya Shrubsole was the pick of the home side’s bowlers. She claimed the first three PNG wickets and later added a superb caught and bowled (See image above) to finish with excellent figures of 4-51.

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Papua New Guinea recovered from 53-3 though and at 196-5 looked set for an easy victory. Spinner Sophie Ecclestone (2-41) was amongst the wickets though, as was Beth Langston (1-12) having been drafted into the side. With the visitors requiring just two runs for victory, there was a needless run out before spinner Danielle Wyatt claimed the 9th wicket courtesy of an excellent catch from skipper Heather Knight. Knight then tried to gee on the crowd (See image above) but PNG snuck home by the skin of their shiny white teeth!

This was a much improved performance from England and they displayed real character to take the match to the wire. They were certainly the victim of a couple of rough decisions but will be disappointed with their middle order’s inability to build on the foundations laid by the likes of Beaumont, Taylor and Knight.

Ashes Cricket (PS4): Scintillating Sciver Can’t Save England!

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England Women succumbed to a chastening 302-run defeat against New Zealand at Headingley in a one-off ODI earlier today.

New Zealand’s opening batsmen were utterly dominant on a gorgeous day in Leeds. Susie Bates (212) and Sophie Devine (144) put on 283 for the visitor’s first wicket. Amy Satterthwaite added 129 not out from just 49 deliveries as the home side claimed only two wickets in 50 overs. New Zealand’s total of 493-2 was a new world record in Women’s ODI cricket, passing the previous high of 455-2 also set by the White Ferns.

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Two dropped catches by stumper Sarah Taylor (Who was also dismissed first ball!) didn’t help England’s cause, although in truth a lot of the damage had already been done. England also missed an easy run out opportunity when the ball was inexplicably thrown to the wrong end!

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All-rounder Natalie Sciver, who despite bowling two maidens finished with record breakingly bad figures of 0-111 from her full allocation, finished the day four runs to the good after spanking a marvellous 115. Her 67-ball affair contained 13 sixes, most of which were reverse sweeps. In current cricket terminology, Sciver is probably England’s ‘Point of Difference’! Only Katherine Brunt (21) and captain Heather Knight (17) were able to provide any kind of support for Surrey’s scintillating Sciver.

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Sciver’s batting exploits did at least save England from complete ignominy and the side will look to bounce back next time they take to the field of play.

Disclaimer: I should probably point out that I was playing as England. In my defence, I’m now tackling veteran level (ie: Level 4/5)!

White Ferns Call on Kerr to Curb Run Flow

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New Zealand Women have selected teenage spin bowler Amelia Kerr in their World Cup squad for the tournament that commences next month in England. The Wellington Wizard¬†was just fourteen years of age when she popped up on YouTube, the great hope for New Zealand Women’s cricket. Of course courting such attention at that age can have a detrimental effect (Freddy Adu anybody?). Kerr though has clocked up ten wickets in 7 ODIs to date, at an average of just 22.90. The Wellington native has already claimed two four-wicket hauls in those 7 appearances and gone at less than four runs per over, 3.89 to be precise.

There’s something utterly bizarre about looking at a person’s Cricinfo profile page and seeing a birthday in the 2000s!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/newzealand/content/player/803971.html

Here’s a Trans World Sport feature on the leg-spinner who can bat too. She struck 119 for Wellington Women against Otago Women as recently as February.

Cricket runs in the Kerr family. Amelia’s sister plays alongside her at domestic level, both parents played the game and grandfather Bruce Murray clocked up 13 Test caps for the Black Caps. Murray’s career best 90 came in Lahore when New Zealand beat Pakistan for the first time.

http://www.howstat.com/cricket/Statistics/Matches/MatchScorecard.asp?MatchCode=0663

That was nearly half a century ago. Kerr will hope to create some historic moments of her own in the sport in the years and even decades to come.

Disclaimer: Irrelevant lyrics, relevant title!