16/04/2024

Australian batter Beth Mooney (Picture: Australian Women's Cricket Team)

A second consecutive eight-wicket win from the Australian Women’s Cricket Team sealed the T20 portion of their series against Pakistan. It was another chase that was never in doubt, as the Australians cruised to victory at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.

The best player for the Australians was wicket-keeper and opening batter Beth Mooney, that netted nearly half the runs required to chase down Pakistan’s paltry total. She was well supported by captain Meg Lanning who hit close to a a-run a-ball 31.

When looking at the bowlers, it was the efforts of Alana King (two wickets) and Ellyse Perry (bowled a maiden) that were part of a tidy bowling card.

The Inner Sanctum takes a look at the five key takeaways from the second match of the T20 series.

Pakistan’s batting duo toiled

Despite only putting on 118 (all out) in the first T20 of the series, Pakistan slumped to a lower total of 96 runs on Thursday night. This time around the innings was headlined by Muneeba Ali Siddiqui and captain Bismah Maroof, who managed half of their total themselves.

The 25-year-old batter in Muneeba followed up a poor performance on Tuesday with an-almost innings. Staying with her captain in a partnership which piled on 35 runs, she looked to be building gradually, scoring off the balls she could while playing safely against Australia’s bowling attack.

Unfortunately she was the second wicket to fall after missing a yorker bowled by Grace Harris. After this, Bismah was left virtually without a partner for the rest of the innings and Pakistan only made another 44 runs in total while losing six wickets, where the Australians really looked to get after the incoming batters.

Australia’s bowling attack is in a class of their own

Alana King was the pick of the Australian bowlers on Thursday night, taking the two wickets of Ayesha Naseem and Aliya Riaz while only having 10 runs conceded in her two overs.

In terms of Australia’s bowling, it was not the bowlers who were on display that was the talk of the cricketing world, but the amount of bowling options utilised and the variation on show. Australian captain Meg Lanning bowled all her nine bowling options excluding herself and her wicket-keeper Mooney.

While King got multiple wickets, Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Jess Jonassen, Grace Harris and Annabel Sutherland all took a pole each. It is a scary prospect that the Australian bowlers all had an over in the match, as well as some of the options available on the sidelines in Georgia Wareham, Heather Graham and Kim Garth, as they see what fits ahead of a World Cup later this year.

Veteran all-rounder takes Aussie wickets again

One Pakistani that has played well with bat and ball through the series has been veteran all-rounder Nida Dar. After getting out LBW to Brown in the first innings, she repented in the bowling innings for Pakistan.

Taking the only two wickets in the match, Dar managed to knock over captain Lanning in the ninth over after the Australians had managed a 60 run partnership. The second wicket was of Mooney (46 runs off 29 deliveries) who attempted to pull a ball to mid-wicket which was caught by Fatima Sana Khan.

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Beth Mooney shakes off injury concerns

Coming off the last game on Tuesday where she did not opening the batting due to injury concerns, Mooney took her place at the wicket opening with Lanning in the second T20. Striking 46 off 29, which included six fours and one six, she looked every bit as comfortable at the crease as she usually does, carefully going about her inning knowing the Australians had done the damage.

Joined by Tahlia McGrath when Lanning got out, Mooney only fell when her side only needed eight runs for victory, leaving McGrath and Ashleigh Gardner out in the middle to hit the winning blows. McGrath finished the game 14 not out off 10, while Gardner scored five with a strike rate of 100.

Australia take the series win comprehensively

Winning all three ODIs and the first two T20s comprehensively, the Australians look like they are in the ideal form ahead of the World Cup in South Africa. Although the Pakistan team were beaten in all facets, the Australians will still need to be vigilant, not only ahead of Game Three in Canberra, but ahead of the World Cup where all sides will be wanting to topple the giants of the women’s game.

The Australians will face Pakistan in Game Three at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Sunday afternoon.

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