Australian women claim Twenty20 win

admin | 杭州桑拿
4 Dec 2018

Jess Jonassen celebrates with her Australian teammates after claiming the wicket of Hayley Matthews. Photo: Getty ImageThe chasm in class between Australia and West Indies was brutally demonstrated on Wednesday as the Southern Stars won by 86 runs, their most convincing home Twenty20 victory.

The West Indies’ decision to send in the Stars at the Adelaide Oval seemed odd at the time. That suspicion was reinforced after the home team reached 4-160.

With a total that high – it was Australia’s highest in Australia and sixth-highest overall – the West Indies’ slim hopes rested on gun batters Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin batting the majority of the innings. When the latter lazily holed out off her third ball, in the third over, the result was a formality. That Taylor too was gone before the half-way mark of the innings, for 19, entrenched the West Indies’ hopeless and hapless situation in the match.

When the West Indies were 9-64 the Stars had a chance of beating their 94-run smashing of Pakistan earlier this year as their biggest win by runs. A stubborn last-wicket partnership of 10 spared them – just – suffering the biggest loss against Australia. Besides a brilliant return catch from 18-year-old spinner Shaquana Quintyne, the tailenders’ unbeaten stand that lifted them to 9-74 after their 20 overs was one of the few things the West Indies had to savour on a dirty day.

While Meg Lanning was among the runs – she crunched an unbeaten 45 from 26 deliveries – what would have buoyed selectors even more was the spread of performance before that of the superstar captain. Jess Jonassen excelled with 47 and then 2-12 from four overs, fellow opener Elyse Villani made 50 and leg-spinner Kristen Beams claimed 3-16, with all her scalps made in concert with wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy.

“It was just amazing to see how many contributors there were today. Everyone just had a belter of a game,” Villani said.

At the start of the year Villani was stuck as a player who thrived at domestic level who was unable to replicating it for the Stars. Her first 10 international matches, the first of which was way back in June 2009, produced a paltry 79 runs at 7.9.

The extent to which the 25-year-old Victorian’s fortunes at international level have changed is remarkable. Her half-century against the West Indies from 33 deliveries, before she fell to Quintana’s dazzling catch, was her fourth for the Stars, and took her record in her past 11 Twenty20 matches to 424 runs at 38.55.

“It’s been really nice,” Villani said of her drastic improvement. “I’ve been keeping it simple and playing straight, playing to my strengths, where as early days I probably didn’t do that and got a bit carried away.

“I’ve always had the goal of being a consistent player, and I’m starting to get that consistency now.”

As Villani’s form has entrenched her opening position she now appears on the cusp of having a long-term partner, based on the success of her and spinner Jonassen after they were “thrown together” during the World Twenty20 earlier this year. Their partnership 93 was the sixth-highest ever by the Stars.

First-drop batter Lanning started slowly before eventually assuming her customary hard-hitting role. The highlight of her unbeaten innings was when she struck Shamilia Connell, whose pace peaked at a remarkable 135.6km/h, for two fours and a six from consecutive deliveries in the 17th over.

In response the West Indies’ power pair of Dottin and Taylor were at the crease after Jonassen’s borderline return catch of opener Hayley Matthews was endorsed by the third umpire. Dottin was a victim of her lack of composure, while Taylor was beaten by the spin of Beams and sure glovework of Healy.

An example of just how charmed the match was for Australia, and how wretched for the Windies, was when Shanel Daley firmly straight drove the first delivery of Ellyse Perry’s second spell, only for Australian to get a finger on the ball before it crashed into the stumps with non-striker Anisa Mohammed stranded well down the pitch.

After the Stars crunched a total of 16 fours and four sixes in their innings the West Indies managed a paltry three fours and a six in reply. Coach Sherwin Campbell, the former men’s Test opener, can add destructive batting to his to-do list – if it has any space left on it.

Even though the West Indies will fly home in a fortnight, that period will seem excruciatingly long if the team cannot make some dramatic improvements over the next two Twenty20 and four one-dayers against the Stars.

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