March 6, 2021

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Sophie Ecclestone and Heather Knight seal Super Over victory for England

4 min read

Australia 8 for 156 (Mooney 65, Sciver 3-23, Glenn 3-28) tied with England 4 for 156 (Knight 78, Wilson 39*)
England won the Super Over

For the third time in four days a T20I went to a Super Over and it was England who prevailed at the end of a gripping match in Canberra having restricted Australia to eight after debutant Annabel Sutherland hauled the home side level in the initial 20 overs when the game had appeared gone.

Australia needed 40 off the last three overs when Sutherland struck 22 off 11 balls and Delissa Kimmince 15 off 6 to mean the tie-breaker was needed. Sophie Ecclestone did superbly to keep Alyssa Healy and Ash Gardner to single figures then captain Heather Knight, who had turned England’s innings around with another career-best, struck consecutive boundaries.

After ten overs England were in significant trouble on 3 for 41, but for the second game running Knight made a new high score to rebuild in a magnificent 115-run stand with Fran Wilson.

Australia made a positive start in the powerplay but legspinner Sarah Glenn turned things in England’s favour. Having removed Gardner she then claimed Ellyse Perry and Rachael Haynes in the space of three deliveries in her final over. When Nat Sciver had top-scorer Beth Mooney stumped for a free-flowing 65 the game was almost England’s but Sutherland pulled it back for Australia before they came up short.

Perry goes straight through

These tri-series matches, while important in themselves, will also give an eye on some tactics that might be used in the T20 World Cup. Perry was used straight through for her four overs with the new ball and produced a miserly spell that conceded just nine runs – the fifth time she has gone for less than 10 in her full allocation in T20Is. Amy Jones had a particularly tough time against her with 13 dots from the 17 balls she faced from Perry. Her spell was a large reason why England limped to the halfway mark on 3 for 41.

Knight’s charge

Knight, who averaged 11.64 against Australia in T20Is before this match, has started this tour in fine form and followed her 67 against India with another outstanding innings as she and Wilson – who retained her spot at No. 5 – resurrected the innings with a stand of 115 in 11 overs. They put the Australia attack under pressure in the latter half of the innings and they couldn’t stem the flow of runs – not the first time it has happened to them when an opposition batter has got going. The final five overs of the innings brought 66 runs with the last, from Megan Schutt, being taken for 20 as Knight twice cleared the boundary.

Contrasting powerplay approach

Australia coach Matthew Mott has instilled a no-fear approach into the team’s batting and their intentions were clear at the start of the chase when Mooney and Healy played their shots. However, after taking two boundaries off Freya Davies’ first two deliveries Healy picked out mid-off and Gardner took nine balls to get off the mark. Mooney, though, was playing superbly and at the end of the fielding restrictions had 32 off 21 balls with Australia’s required rate under eight an over.

Glenn makes England favourites, but then…

Gardner’s frustrations ended when she picked out mid-off against Glenn and Meg Lanning dragged into her stumps against Ecclestone as England applied pressure. However, it was Glenn’s last over that really changed the game when Perry was pinned lbw by a straighter delivery the ball after clearing the rope for her first boundary. Two balls later, Haynes popped a return catch to Glenn and suddenly Australia’s chase was falling apart when Sciver also claimed two in three balls in the 17th over. However, their batting is exceptionally deep and that was on display as Sutherland stuck three consecutive boundaries off Katherine Brunt who conceded her most expensive T20I figures. Still, England looked in control with 18 needed off seven only for Kimmince to launch Sciver’s last delivery for six then in the final over scooped Ecclestone for four. Three were needed off the last ball but they could only scamper two.

Ecclestone holds her nerve

The left-arm spinner was handed the pressure of the crucial six balls of the Super Over and she could not have done much better. She beat Healy first ball and after three deliveries Australia had just three runs. A brilliant piece of work off her own bowling meant the fifth ball was a dot and another yorker only yielded a final-ball single. In reply, Perry started with two singles but then Knight lapped a boundary to ease the pressure before clearing the off side to bring victory.

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