Australia’s bowlers almost turned the game around but New Zealand’s lower order came through
Beth Mooney believed Australia’s bowlers could close out the second T20I in Napier, but conceded the visitors had been under par with the bat on a surface where they were not able to significantly accelerate.
Despite only having 129 on the board, Australia had squeezed the chase after the fall of Frankie Mackay to the extent that New Zealand needed 21 off the last two overs which they were able to achieve through Maddy Green and Hannah Rowe, the last ball being edged to fine leg.
“I’d back our bowlers to defend 21 off 12, but Hannah Rowe and Maddy Green were outstanding,” Mooney said. “When you need three of the last ball, it can go anywhere.”
Australia’s innings included nine fours and a six, while the home side managed 13 fours and two sixes. Mooney batted through the first innings for 61* off 54 balls, but Rachael Haynes scored 11 off her first 16 deliveries before lifting herself above a run-a-ball.
Throughout the third wicket stand of 49, Ash Gardner, who struck a superb 73 off 48 balls in the first T20I in Hamilton, was sat in the dugout and eventually walked in with a just ten balls remaining, but Mooney said the team had faith in all their batters to perform in any situation.
“They were tricky conditions and it was really hard to start on,” she said. “Even someone like me, I was out there the whole game and never felt I could get the ball out of the middle. New Zealand bowled really well, had some great plans so credit has to go to the way they played. Thought they were an outstanding fielding outfit today, too.
“Anyone in our batting line-up can bat anywhere. Rach Haynes has done really well in the middle order for our team and been going beautifully. [We] would never question the decisions the coaching staff make because at the time it’s the right one.
“You look at the top six in our team we have some of the best batters in the world so we have batters who can play any role in any situation on any given day. Whilst it might seem from the outside that we don’t try too much or change too much within our group we are really confident and supportive of each other. We were probably 10 or 15 runs short. Whether Ash came in earlier or not, who knows, but it was definitely a really hard wicket to start on considering how tight they were bowling.”
The victory was more notable for New Zealand as they achieved it without captain Sophie Devine, who was ill. It meant a reshuffling of the batting order with Mackay, who may have been left out due to a calf niggle which was then exacerbated while opening the batting during the New Zealand innings.
Despite not being able to secure victory in Hamilton after reducing Australia to 14 for 3, stand-in captain Amy Satterthwaite said the performance had lifted the team’s confidence after the difficult time against England.
“Really proud of the way everyone stood up,” she said. “The belief in what we were doing was getting bigger and bigger, the last game probably gave us more belief than people probably realised in the way we carried ourselves. It was a step forward of where we’d been against England. Today we talked about lifting that again. Thought the fielding had been setting the tone we were outstanding again. That lifted everyone and the bowlers were all brilliant.”
SL vs Ind, 3rd ODI, 2021
Sri Lanka captain also hopes their fast-bowling reserves will improve in the future
“If we had won that last game, it would have been a big boost going into this game,” Shanaka said. “But I have a lot of belief that this young team can start winning soon.
Both Rajitha and Sandakan went for more than seven runs per over, but Shanaka said it was a decision that was easier to criticise in hindsight.
“We can’t always know which way would have been best. As a captain my main goal is to win, at the time I did what I thought was best but going forward I’ll need to learn from these experiences.”
“We need to fix the playing environment first. When Asalanka was batting at No. 3 in England, a lot of people might have been saying he wasn’t of international standard. As a captain, the way I looked at it was, how do we get the best out of him? I spoke to coaches and selectors, and we decided that he should first play at No. 5, where he can first gain experience playing in the middle order. Then gradually put him into that No. 3 role. We need to give players time to settle in. That will give him time to learn about international cricket, how to play certain bowlers, when to accelerate an innings, when to stretch things out, he will gradually get a better understanding of these things.
“Just like Asalanka, Chamika has been playing really well. But Chamika also needs time to settle in. He has shown he can finish, so we need to give him more time in that role. That’s how you build his confidence. So that’s why both are in their specific positions, to gain that crucial experience.”
“We do have a problem in being able to replace some players,” Shanaka said. ‘In the past, we’ve lost a lot of in-form players due to injuries, to the detriment of our side. So now we need to manage our fast bowlers a lot more carefully. We have about three fast bowlers who can bowl over 140kph, but if we can nurture a few more to that level it’ll make things easier in terms of rotation.
“Having a player like Lahiru Kumara is very much an advantage, but we need to manage his bowling load, and with him coming back from injury, we need to get him match fit properly without rushing him back. As a captain, I would of course like to have both Dushmantha and Kumara, but we need to manage the bowling loads properly.
“Going forward, we will hopefully have more players coming through from the Under-19 and A team levels, and at that point, we should be able to properly implement a rest and rotation policy. It’s honestly a good thing because if you look at someone like Dushmantha he’s been in a bubble for three months straight.”
Recent Match Report – Yorkshire vs Surrey 2021
Yorkshire stumble to 165 all out after being inserted on bouncy surface
Surrey 168 for 5 (Stoneman 73*, Pillan’s 4-57) beat Yorkshire 165 (Atkinson 4-43) by five wickets
Atkinson, 23, prospered with the new ball on a fast and bouncy North Marine Road pitch, claiming 4 for 43 to bowl the Vikings out for 165 in only 35 overs.
Stoneman and co survived 4 for 57 for South African overseas quick Mat Pillans, who moved from Surrey to Yorkshire in late 2018.
This fixture included eight players – four on each side – making their List A debuts.
Atkinson made the initial breakthrough by bowling Will Fraine in the second over before getting George Hill caught at square leg and Jonny Tattersall caught behind as the hosts slipped to 40 for 4 in the 10th.
Matthew Revis, another List A debutant, top-scored for Yorkshire with 43 off as many balls, while Gary Ballance made 39. They shared 81 inside 13 overs for the fifth wicket. But wickets fell quickly once more.
The Vikings tumbled from 121 for 4 in the 22nd, losing their last six for 44 as most of the damage was done from the Trafalgar Square End.
Opener Harry Duke, Hill, Ballance and Pillans were all undone by extra bounce, while Revis and Dom Bess will reflect on loose dismissals.
This certainly wasn’t the way Yorkshire captain Bess would have wanted to celebrate his 24th birthday, with him skewing Dan Moriarty’s left-arm spin to long-off.
Hill and Pillans fell caught off top-edged pulls against Atkinson, the latter courtesy of a stunning diving catch on the run towards backward square-leg from wicketkeeper Jamie Smith. Ballance fended a short ball from Conor McKerr to gully, sparking the clatter of wickets.
Amla and opening partner Stoneman then steadily shared 59 inside the first 13 overs of the chase. Stoneman hit two fours and slog-swept Bess for six as 14 came off the 12th, only for Pillans to claim two wickets in three balls in the 13th. He had Amla caught at wide mid-on pulling before bowling Ben Geddes, leaving Surrey 59 for 2.
That forced Stoneman back into his shell, but he shared an important 54 with Smith. Pillans then struck twice in an over again, getting Smith caught at midwicket for 25 and Ryan Patel superbly caught one-handed in the gully by Tattersall – 116 for 4 in the 29th.
Bess also bowled debutant Nico Reifer for an eye-catching 26, but Surrey’s victory was secured with 10.5 overs remaining.
Recent Match Report – Hampshire vs Essex 2021
Tom Westley top-scores as Hampshire are out-muscled in campaign opener
Essex 275 for 7 (Westley 69) beat Hampshire 273 (Gubbins 62, Weatherley 54) by three wickets
The pair, who earlier took five wickets between them to dismiss the Hawks for an under-par 273, put on 54 for the eighth wicket to get their side over the line with more than five overs to spare.
Former England batsman Tom Westley laid the foundations for the win with a classy 69, but the Hawks’ attack struck regularly after batsmen had got decent starts with the visitors looking in real trouble at 221 for 7.
However, Harmer and Nijjar batted responsibly on a placid pitch to finish unbeaten on 32 and 27 respectively.
Essex won the toss and elected to field and Hampshire quickly found themselves on the back foot when Tom Prest played all around a Steve Snater delivery to be bowled for a second-ball duck.
Felix Organ and Nick Gubbins put on 49 for the second wicket before Organ was caught by Harmer off Jamie Porter for 27.
In-fom Gubbins and Joe Weatherley looked in good touch in a stand of 92 but Snater struck again to break up the promising partnership when the on-loan Middlesex man mistimed a pull-shot and was caught by Adam Wheater for 62.
Essex struck twice in quick succession when Ian Holland was caught and bowled by Nijjar for seven and Weatherley fell for 54 when Harmer found the edge behind to Wheater.
James Fuller and Lewis McManus put on a quickfire 65 from 36 balls with one Paul Walter over being smashed for for 24, but once again Essex broke the partnership before any major damage could be inflicted when veteran Ryan ten Doeschate trapped Fuller lbw for 27 and reduced Hampshire to 224 for 6 with 11 overs remaining.
Any hopes of an explosive finish to the innings evaporated when McManus departed for 50 and Essex ran through Hampshire’s lower order to wrap up the innings with four balls to spare with Snater and Harmer taking three wickets apiece.
Hampshire got off to a perfect start with the ball as Essex slumped to 8 for 2 after Kyle Abbott trapped Will Buttleman lbw, before 20-year-old debutante John Turner grabbed the wicket of Alastair Cook for four.
Westley and young right-hander MIchael Pepper steadied the ship before Scott Currie bowled Pepper for an impressive run-a-ball 34.
Westley looked in imperious touch, stroking 12 fours, but his pleasing innings was ended when he mistimed a cover-drive off Felix Organ and caught by Weatherley.
Walter, ten Doeschate and Wheater fell for 35, 28 and 25 respectively as the Hawks continued to make inroads, before Hamer and Nijjar held firm.
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