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Cricket News & Views

Claire Taylor lifts England

ENGLAND cruised to a six-wicket victory over old foes Australia in the women’s Test at Bowral today, with Claire Taylor finishing undefeated on 64 to complement Isa Guha’s splendid nine wickets in the match.

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England, in the driving seat after a first-innings lead of 90, halted Australia’s fightback by taking wickets in the final morning, including Lisa Sthalekar two runs short of her second Test hundred, caught by Guha in the covers off Beth Morgan. Karen Rolton declared at 231-9 in an attempt to force the win required to win back the Ashes in the one-match series.

With a victory target of 142 off 59 overs, England might well have won without the despairing declaration, the end coming with 2.3 overs remaining. Caroline Atkins was lbw early to Elysse Perry, perhaps the quickest woman bowler in the world these days, but Morgan and Taylor added 49 for the second wicket to push England through to 61 before Morgan was caught. Lydia Greenway hit 26 off 31 balls to regain momentum, and Taylor ensured the job was finished, completing a good match after her first-innings 79.

As captain, Charlotte Edwards probably did most to settle an advantage with her first innings of 94 in a stand of 159 with Taylor, though Guha deservedly took the player of the match award. After the game Charlotte Edwards said: “I’m delighted -- almost lost for words. To beat Australia in Australia is a fantastic feeling. We had always said we would come out here and aim to win this match in order to retain the Ashes and that’s what we did today.
“I’m so proud of all my players. We have played some fantastic cricket over these past four days to continually have the upper hand over Australia and to pull through and secure victory today was a great effort. We’ll celebrate tonight, but then turn our attentions to New Zealand for the one-day series over there, which starts on Sunday.”
Guha said: “It was brilliant to be playing at The Bradman Oval and it was an extra special win for us because we knew that people were saying we had only come out for the draw as that would have been enough to retain the Ashes. But we always knew that we were playing for a win and it’s great to be part of such a special occasion.”

Bradman Oval, Bowral

Australia 154 (81.5 overs; K Blackwell 45, I Guha 5-40) & 231-9 dec (93 overs; L Sthalekar 98, I Guha 4-60)
England 244 (140.4 overs; C Edwards 94, C Taylor 79) & 144-4 (56.3 overs; C Taylor 64*).
England won by 6 wickets

Posted by charlie
18/02/2008 10:40:31

England face one-day barrage


ENGLAND women, captained by Charlotte Edwards, fly from Heathrow today to begin their tour of Australia, needing only to draw their one Test to retain the Ashes. The impact of women’s Test cricket has been diminished by slow scoring and dull matches among the main nations., so that one-dayers are elbowing the four-day version aside, even in Australia.

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Devaluation of the female Ashes has been the main price. England are due to play a five-match one-day series, including games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground, plus a Twenty20 game at the MCG.
After their tour of Australia, the players head to New Zealand for a five-match one-day series, with all games played at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval at Lincoln University, an isolated spot outside Christchurch.
Nine players travelled today, and the remaining members of the squad, who are already playing state cricket in Australia, join the tour party on arrival. Edwards said: “It’s going to be a tough tour as both Australia and New Zealand are two of the best sides in world cricket, but we’re taking a young talented squad with lots of potential, and we’re fully prepared for it.”

Australia schedule:
Jan 25:  Victoria (Wesley College)
Jan 28:  Australia Under-21 (Albert Ground)
Jan 30:  Australia Under-21  (Geelong).
Feb 1:   Australia Twenty20 (MCG)
Feb 3:   1st ODI  Australia  (MCG)
Feb 4:   2nd ODI  Australia  (MCG)
Feb 7:   3rd ODI  Australia  (Drummoyne Oval)      
Feb 10:  4th ODI  Australia  (Sydney Cricket Ground)
Feb 11:  5th ODI  Australia  (Sydney Cricket Ground)
Feb 15-18:  Test Match Australia (Bradman Oval, Bowral)
Feb 20:  Depart for New Zealand

New Zealand schedule
Feb 22: New Zealand A (Lincoln University, Christchurch)
Feb 24: 1st ODI New Zealand (Lincoln)
Feb 25: 2nd ODI New Zealand (Lincoln)
Feb 28: 3rd ODI New Zealand (Lincoln)
March 2: 4th ODI New Zealand (Lincoln)
March 3: 5th ODI New Zealand (Lincoln)
March 5: England depart
England squad:
Charlotte Edwards (capt, Kent)
Caroline Atkins     (Sussex)
Rosalie Birch        (Sussex)
Steph Davies       (Somerset)
Lydia Greenway    (Kent)
Isa Guha             (Berkshire)
Jenny Gunn         (Notts)
Laura Marsh        (Sussex)
Beth Morgan       (Middlesex)
Nicky Shaw         (Notts)
Jane Smit           (Notts)
Claire Taylor       (Berkshire)
Sarah Taylor       (Sussex)
Australia only:
Holly Colvin         (Sussex)
NZ only:
Charlotte Russell  (Sussex)

Posted by charlie
21/01/2008 16:15:00

Daylight for Pakistan's Women

WITH horror, especially in Ireland and Scotland, many of you can read cricinfo and see that male spectators, except those attending with family, will be banned during the Women's World Cup qualifying tournament in Pakistan on Nov 18-24.

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The Ireland and Scotland women travel to Lahore to compete with Pakistan, Zimbabwe (on their debut), Papua New Guinea, Bermuda, South Africa and Holland for two places in the 2009 World Cup. This spectator restriction probably seems unpleasant and downright ridiculous to most people in the world, but history might look back on the week as a breakthrough in this conservative Islamic country.

Shamsa Hashmi, secretary of the Pakistan Cricket Board women's wing, pointed out that hosting the tournament was in itself a step forward. “The decision proves that women's cricket is progressing in our country, and through this event we would promote a softer and moderate image of Pakistan,” she said. Pakistan’s players will wear the standard international clothing, laying aside the baggy trousers and long shirts they had been required to wear in the past.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board, in a liberal Muslim country, are due to announce their first women's training squad soon. An inaugural fixture has not yet been arranged.

Posted by Charlie Randall
22/02/2007 01:56:50
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