MATCH REPORT : Australia v West Indies

Australia were undoubtedly the most professional outfit at Taunton today. They did not miss a trick as they cruised to an eight wicket victory over West Indies, the team that beat them in the WT20 final just over two years ago.

Meg Lanning showed she was on the ball before the game even started, when opposing skipper Stafanie Taylor first elected to bat, before immediately correcting herself to say that she wanted to bowl. As the post-toss formalities were being concluded Lanning, who also wanted to bowl, checked the rules. The Match Referee, David Jukes was called and Windies were made to bat.

And they proceeded to bat in the style of a petulant teenager who had been told to tidy their bedroom. They went through the motions without any great enthusiasm or commitment. After 10 overs West Indies were 34/0 with Matthews 22 and Walters 7. Shortly after Walters departed, but rather than see Stafanie Taylor, Chedean Nation walked to the crease. She did not walk back for another 73 balls, but she had only scored 39 in that time. Matthews had looked in good touch, but a rash drive to the legside to a Jonassen straight ball cost her her leg stump. She had looked a class above both her partners, but it was a rash shot. Her demise finally brought Stafanie Taylor to the wicket in the 24th over and she batted with confidence, scoring a fluent 45 off 57 balls, until she lofted an on drive to Villani on the long on boundary in the 46th over. By this stage Windies were 197/8, and they lasted only another 11 balls. All out for 202 on a wicket that you feel Australia would have put at least 300 on the board, had they indeed batted first.

The Aussie bowling was tight, without ever looking overly threatening, on what was a great batting track. But the most heartening thing if you are an Aussie fan was that Ellyse Perry looked sharp. The Aussies will be hoping she stays that way throughout the tournament, but she could have a big workload. Despite what the Australian management say their seam attack is thin, hence the use of Elyse Villani as a seamer here. Perry finished with 3/47, and spinners Jonassen and Beams picked up a brace of wickets apiece.

There were also two run outs, although there could have been more. On two occasions umpire Kathy Cross shook her head as the Aussies appealed for run outs, which certainly looked out to the naked eye, and then again on the streamed coverage, but she did not have the benefit of the technology that we did as the cameras here are not "official". The only thing to say is that it takes a lot to get Cross to raise her finger.

The Aussie openers, Nicole Bolton (107) and Beth Mooney (70), were just as professional. They rotated the strike with consumate ease, and dispatched the bad ball to the boundary with the minimum of fuss. The only question asked of the batsmen was which one would reach the relevant milestones first. It was Mooney that got to her 50 first off 67 balls; Bolton followed three overs later off 73 balls. Indeed it was a surprise when Mooney advanced to Taylor and yorked herself to be bowled for 70 in the 31st over, bringing their opening partnership to an end on 171. But Bolton went serenely on to her 100, off 108 balls, despite losing skipper Lanning to a superb running and diving catch by Hayley Matthews on the long off boundary.

The Aussies will get sterner tests than this, but they have shown they are focused and mean business. Their seventh WWC title is a distinct possibility.

Comments

  1. I am unable to watch live streaming here, so articles like these are invaluable! Thank you!

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  2. Australia's chances of winning the competition lie somewhere between "distinct possibility" and "nailed on certainty". Who can muster the wherewithal to beat them? It will be interesting to see how close NZ can get. With performances like this no-one else may get a look in, but can the Aussies sustain this level for the next 8 matches??

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