Australia Women celebrating
Womens World Cup

WWC17 Report Card: Australia

WWC17 Report Card

Results summary

Beat West Indies by 8 wickets

Beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets

Beat New Zealand by 5 wickets

Beat Pakistan by 159 runs

Lost to England by 3 runs

Beat India by 8 wickets

Beat South Africa by 59 runs

Lost to India by 36 runs

What went wrong?

Australia’s exit was as much down to the success of others as its own shortcomings. It departed at the semi-final stage, as Harmanpreet Kaur’s 171* off 115 balls, one of the all-time great innings, launched India to 281/4, a total that proved unchaseable in a rain-reduced 42-over contest. Up until then, Australia had been its usual consistent self, beating all-comers comfortably, with the sole exception of England. Australia succumbed to its old enemy in a thriller by three runs, a result which led to it not topping the group and having to take on India rather than South Africa in the semi-finals, and bearing the full brunt of Kaur’s monster knock.

Positives to take home?

Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning were as good as ever, with the former making five 50+ scores; the joint-most by any player in a Women’s World Cup, and the latter notching a new high score of 152* against Sri Lanka, also the highest score in any ODI chase. What may please Australia more is how its lesser lights stepped up to support its star players. Rachael Haynes captained with aplomb when Lanning was forced to sit out to manage a chronic shoulder problem, Elyse Villani trebled her fifties tally with blistering knocks against India and Pakistan, and openers Nicole Bolton and Beth Mooney displayed impressive consistency, combining for four stands of 50 or more, two of more than 100, and one absolutely huge partnership of 171 against West Indies in their team’s opening game.

Areas for improvement?

Holly Ferling’s injury and Rene Farrell’s retirement left Australia a little short on bowling options coming into this tournament, and they chose to try and fill the fifth bowler’s slot with part-timers, relying on the likes of Villani and Bolton to chip in some overs. This strategy saw Chamari Athapaththu smash a record-breaking 178* for Sri Lanka in Australia’s second game, and Villani concede 13 off the last over against England, perhaps the difference in a tight game. In this context, as brilliant as Kaur’s innings was, it seems as if it was an accident waiting to happen. Add that to the fact that Perry, having to balance the demands of being a top-order batter and an opening bowler, is often unable to bowl her full-quota, and it becomes clear that they’ll need to find more frontline bowling options if they want to once again establish themselves as the world’s best.

Overall grade

B

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