June 29, 2001

England suffer another heavy defeat against Australia

Australia inflicted another crushing defeat over England in the first Cricinfo One-Day International at Derby today, winning by 99 runs with more than three overs remaining.

Set 239 to win after an entertaining batting performance from Australia's Karen Rolton (79) and Lisa Keightley (75), England's early overs were full of promise as debutante Hannah Lloyd and Arran Thompson set off confidently against Australia's experienced opening attack.

Lloyd survived an appeal to the third umpire for a run out in the fifth over after the athletic Lisa Sthalekar produced a forward dive at square leg to get the ball in sharply to the stumps.

The 21-year-old University student took her time to settle, while at the other end Thompson quickly got down to business striking three boundaries in six overs.

But in the eighth over of the innings, Lloyd was leg before pushing forward to pace bowler Therese McGregor and Australia had made their first breakthrough with the total on 22.

The next three wickets all fell in quick succession as McGregor, another member of the Waugh twins cricket club in Bankstown, capitalised on the English women's fragile confidence and tentative stroke play.

Thompson was brilliantly caught at cover for 17, having faced 37 balls, and captain Clare Connor was another lbw victim playing across the line to McGregor.

A drinks break rapidly turned into a 50-minute interval as the clouds lowered and the heavens opened, forcing scorers to bring out their sheets of Duckworth-Lewis calculations but play resumed at 5.00pm making the full 50 overs permissible.

With the score on 48 for five, after Jackie Hawker was caught behind off Lisa Sthalekar, the chances of England pulling things back looked unlikely and while Sarah Collyer and Clare Taylor kept hopes alive with a seventhwicket partnership of 41, the requirement for 109 runs to be scored off the last ten overs was too much for England's young side.

Taylor was bowled by a full toss from Sthalekar for 39 after hitting six boundaries from 89 balls and Collyer was adjudged run out by the third umpire having made an impressive 20, with runs all round the wicket.

"We are disappointed to lose by 100 runs, give or take a couple," said Taylor, who was voted Vodafone's Man of the Match for England.

"There are key areas to tighten up on. We bowled too many loose balls today allowing them to get off to a quick start. We have to attack their top order batsmen and get them out as cheaply as possible and we need to start striking the ball more cleanly.

"We need to work out where our strongest scoring opportunities are and make the most of them before the next match. Losing is always a disappointing experience but we need to take as many positives away from this as possible and learn as much as we can from the way Australia play their cricket. Exposure to this standard of cricket is the only way to toughen us up."