A three-wicket haul from Jenny Gunn and half-centuries from Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver took England to a convincing eight-wicket win over Australia in the second match of the Twenty20 International tri-series at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium on Friday 23 March.
After Heather Knight won the toss and asked Australia to bat, Gunn (3/26) and Sciver (2/29) led the way in keeping the total to 149/8. In response, after being two down for 34 runs by the fifth over, Beaumont (58*) and Sciver (68*) shared an unbroken 116-run partnership for the third wicket and took England to 150/2 with three overs to spare.
“Very nice to get over the line. We are trying to play as best as we can,” said Knight after the match. “A few catches in the field (were missed), but the batting was very clinical and positive. Very happy with the win.”
Sciver did well in both halves of the game, and deservedly won the Player of the Match award. “It's quite nice with the conditions here,” she said. “With a couple of seniors at home, it's important for other people to step up.”
Australia were without their regular captain Meg Lanning, who is on a comeback following shoulder surgery and was rested by the team management.
In Lanning’s absence, Rachael Haynes was tasked with the captaincy, and she felt that the defeat would be a lesson for her team. “We were probably off today. We didn't lose the intent. We put an okay score out there, but unfortunately came short,” said Haynes, adding that she had faith in her players, especially the bowlers who couldn’t find a way past Beaumont and Sciver.
"We've spoken about the style of play we want to consistently produce in this format, so I hope just because it didn't quite come off today we don't curb that and go back into our shell. We want to have good intent in this format of the game and our batting line-up is very strong, so we don't want to leave anything sitting on the bench – but you do still have to be smart about that."
Haynes had a good outing with the bat, scoring a 45-ball 65 to be Australia’s top scorer by some distance, and was happy with her performance, saying, “Nice to spend some time out in the middle and score out there – I don't try to change much.”
The tournament will act as preparation for the upcoming ICC Women’s World T20, to be held in the Caribbean later this year, and like Knight, Haynes also wants to use the opportunity as best as possible. “We want to get better in this format with the World Cup coming. A tournament like this gives us an opportunity to improve,” she said.