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Australia v England at Sydney
30 Jan 2000 (Rick Eyre)

England's gloom continues with 87 run loss

England's gloom on their Australian tour continued today with a 87-run loss in the second of the four-match women's one-day international series at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia have a 2-0 lead, having won by 86 runs yesterday. England have lost every one of their four matches on tour so far.

Australia amassed a total of 6/249, their second-highest score against England in a fifty-overs match. The visitors, in reply, could manage just 162 in 49.4 overs. Solid middle-order batting by Cherie Bambury and Martha Winch, a five-wicket haul by Charmaine Mason, and some outstanding Australian fielding, were the highlights of the day.

Australian captain Belinda Clark won the toss and elected to bat. She and her opening partner Lisa Keightley put on 41 runs in seven overs before rain forced players from the field for twenty minutes. The interruption, plus a double bowling change to remove the expensive Laura Newton and Clare Taylor, removed some of the Australian momentum.

Nineteen year-old spinner Dawn Holden, who was not even a member of the touring party originally selected, took the first wicket, and a prize scalp at that. Having gained varying degrees of turn on a wearing pitch, she bowled Lisa Keightley with one that kept straight. Keightley, who scored 127 not out on Saturday, made 20 from 22 deliveries out of an opening stand of 45. This was her first dismissal in her last three one-day appearances against England dating back to 1998, for the addition of 260 runs.

Clark was next to go with the score on 65, going for a swing to mid-wicket, missing a ball from Melissa Reynard that straightened and trapped her lbw in front of middle stump. The Australian captain made 24.

Karen Rolton played a fine knock of 40 from just 35 deliveries, despatching the ball across the fifty-metre boundary rope on eight occasions, before she became the third Australian wicket to fall.

Right-arm seamer Kathryn Winks, whose bowling for the most part consisted of rank full-tosses, pitched one on a good length in line with middle stump that trapped Rolton leg before wicket. Her figures of 1/27 after five overs are extremely flattering.

Western Australian all-rounder Cherie Bambury became the first half-centurion of the match and advanced to 66 before being stumped by Jane Cassar off the bowling of leg-spinner Kathryn Leng. The same combination claimed the fifth wicket of Cathryn Fitzpatrick (12) from a wide delivery.

England missed two chances at a wicket on the fourth ball of the 46th over. A Reynard full-toss was smashed by Fitzpatrick back at the bowler, who finger-tipped it. The batsmen ran a single on the misfield, Martha Winch short of her ground when wicketkeeper Cassar fumbled the return throw, scampering to safety.

The Australians pushed up the scoring rate in the final overs, with Winch (54) registering her fifty before being caught by Clare Taylor at mid-wicket off Reynard off the last ball of the innings.

Reynard (2/54) and Leng (2/29 from seven) were the most successful of the England bowlers. Dawn Holden (1/37 from ten) is looking thus far as the find of the England tour. Laura Newton bowled only three overs at the start of the innings. The England attack looks at its most promising when the spin duo of Connor and Holden are on.

England began their chase for 250 with history well and truly against them, having never successfully chased more than 177 to win in the 26-year history of ODI's against Australia. Nothing was going to change this record today.

Clare Connor fell from the fifth ball of the innings to a brilliant run out. Connor played a delivery back to the bowler, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, who spotted the batsman out of her ground and made an excellent direct hit return. It was a moment reminiscent of Roger Harper's run-out of Graham Gooch at Lord's in 1987.

Fitzpatrick made the next breakthrough in her second over, beating the defences of Barbara Daniels (4) with a fine in-cutter to dislodge middle and leg.

Karen Smithies, who batted dismally on Saturday for a 40-ball 2, got off the mark when she hooked in self-defence a Fitzpatrick bouncer to fine leg for four. Fitzpatrick was without question the fastest and most aggressive bowler on display in this game.

Charlotte Edwards (29) played with aggression but fell when she slashed a full-blooded drive off Charmaine Mason straight to Martha Winch at gully, followed by Kathryn Leng (6), who lost her wicket in identical fashion.

Smithies fell in the 21st over having scored 26. Wicketkeeper Julia Price dived fully-stretched to her left to take the ball in the tip of her glove, the England captain becoming Mason's third victim of the day. The England captain played a livelier knock than in Game One, but in her current form seems badly out of place opening the batting for her country.

With Smithies' departure at 5/75 the match descended into a typical example of limited-overs second innings tedium, the result in no doubt whatsoever. The most exciting moments of the latter afternoon came from the crowd when Australian twelfth man Jo Broadbent crashed the drinks trolley when driving it off the field. The biggest cheer from the crowd of around 150 came when Broadbent drove another cart onto and off the ground at the next interval without mishap.

Laura Newton (29) equalled Edwards' highest score of the innings before falling to an excellent outfield catch by Belinda Clark, who ran several metres to take a ball lofted to deep mid-wicket. Clark also took the catch of Holden (13) to end the match and give Mason (5/30) her fifth wicket of the innings.

Game three of this series will take place at Bradman Oval, Bowral, on Tuesday. England look like novices in comparison to the slick Australians, with Charlotte Edwards perhaps the only player who would not seem out of place in the opposition eleven. They will need to improve enormously if they are to be serious contenders for December's World Cup in New Zealand.


Date-stamped : 30 Jan2000 - 06:22