Tag Archives: women’s world cup

Ellyse Perry: the one legged hero

The ghost of Rick McCosker’s jaw is never far away in Australian cricket. No matter what the injury, if you can perform, you should.

An Aussie batsman once told me he couldn’t sit in a chair at the end of the day’s play, but he still fielded the next day even though it was the fourth innings, just so his team-mates didn’t think he was soft. That is how it is in Australian cricket. The team comes first, your health second.

In the Women’s World Cup final, this couldn’t have been shown more obviously than when Ellyse Perry came on to bowl. Perry had missed a great deal of the tournament with an injured ankle. Her replacement, Holly Ferling, had done so well that Perry needn’t have been tested. But she is a star, and she wanted to help win the World Cup for her team. Australia took a gamble on her fitness.

With the bat, Perry’s ankle held up. She slogged her way to 25 off 22, the only Australian batsman with a strike rate above 100, and woke up an innings that was dipping into a coma.

When she came on to bowl, West Indies had handled the new ball well. They’d built a platform, not lost a wicket, and still had Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin to come. Australia needed Perry.

Instead of steaming in and firing through the openers, Perry barely got to the crease for her first attempt. She pulled up, limped and looked worried. As did every other Australian player. It didn’t look like she’d get through a ball, let alone an over. The second attempt was much the same. It ended in no delivery, pain and worry.

It was then that the captain Jodie Fields shot a look off to the dressing room. It wasn’t a happy look. Australia’s gamble was about to cost them ten overs of a strike bowler, and Fields was suddenly trying to work out how she was going to make up for that. Perry could have limped off. An injured ankle for a fast bowler is death.

But Perry refused to give up. Her third attempt was painful to watch, it was someone hurting, someone who didn’t trust her body, but somehow she delivered a ball. Nothing great, but one more than looked likely. Her team-mates screamed their support. The ball was left alone and went through to Fields, who kept the ball and ran up to Perry. It was the briefest of chats, perhaps just mindless support. Fields knew how important every ball Perry bowled was. It was the difference between West Indies having a chance to win, and not. Whatever was said got Perry through the over.

With her sixth ball, Perry took Kycia Knight with a dodgy lbw. Perry’s seventh took the edge of West Indies’ gun, Taylor, but the evidence on the catch at slip was inconclusive. Perry’s tenth ball, she had Taylor out caught and bowled. Perry’s 15th was Natasha McLean’s wicket. After three overs Perry had 3-2-2-3.

Perry might have limped her way through it, but it was West Indies who never recovered. She could have stepped back from there. The job was done, the clichés were ready, and the game was just playing out to what was a fairly predictable result. She could have been hidden in the field, stood back on one leg, and let the rest of her team cash in on her brilliance.

She wouldn’t allow herself to become a passenger. Perry kept giving it her all. She raced around for run-outs, dived to stop singles, threw herself threw into the air unsafely, unwisely and ungainly to catch Deandra Dottin. And continued to bowl.

Perry bowled her entire ten overs, often limping in between balls or overs, but she just kept going until Australia had won the World Cup. In her last over, Perry bowled a bouncer. It was a special effort, courageous and skillful.

An injured ankle is not quite as sexy as McCosker’s broken jaw but what Perry did deserved to be added to illustrious list of Australian cricket propaganda.

It’ll start as a gutsy effort that won a game Australia should have always won. Yet, in a few years time, as people forget the details and just remember the result, it’ll be known as the World Cup Ellyse Perry won on one leg.

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A disgrace no more

Outside of the semi-professional ranks of England, Australia and New Zealand, women’s cricket is a disgrace. Almost every team is a minnow.

South Africa should be disgusted at the lack of funds and professionalism its women team has. India is allowing its women’s cricket to dry up. West Indies have only started taking it seriously since two players showed talent. Pakistan should be promoting heroes in all walks of life. And when we are constantly told that Bangladesh is cricket crazy, where are their women?

The ICC hasn’t been good enough on this either.

Paying the women less per diems at the World Twenty20 was wrong, and sent a terrible message. The organisation of this tournament has been amateur. And why hasn’t the ICC forced all countries to turn their women’s teams into professional outfits. No Test playing nation should receive any revenue from ICC tournaments if they do not intend to use at least five percent of it on women’s cricket.

It’s 2013, and this is a billion-dollar game. The Women’s World Cup is being transmitted around the world, these women deserve to be paid and treated like professional athletes. And if you want to know the difference between amateur women’s cricket, and professional women’s cricket, you just have to watch a replay of Sri Lanka’s win over England.

In the last World Cup, the Sri Lankan women were horrible. They looked like a club team that had been cobbled together and told to play in a World Cup for their country.

Someone in the Sri Lankan government must have been embarrassed by that.

You won’t get a bigger critic of the Sri Lankan government’s treatment of cricket. They approve the selections, place old politicians in the teams, and have generally held back Sri Lankan cricket on and off the field with their own politics. But, one of them also made the decision that today, led to their women winning their first ever match against England, the World Champions.

That decision was to move women’s cricketers into the armed forces. Allowing them to dedicate their entire working life to becoming better cricketers. Today the proof was right on the screen.

The Sri Lankan team were chasing 239, their openers built a foundation, one hitting, the other blocking. They gave their middle order a chance, and then at No. 7 a woman Eshani Kaushalya came in and took seven balls to get off the mark. At first I thought she was out of her depth. I thought that perhaps Sri Lanka had a few decent top-order players and their middle order had nothing.

Then Kaushalya hit out. She took the spinners back over their heads, she slogged when she had to, and much like when Kevin O’Brien slogged the men’s team, the England women completely lost the plot.

England were never supposed to be in a competitive game. They were playing a minnow. Just turning out and executing their skill sets, as the cricketers say, would be enough. Now they were being slogged around the park by a middle-order Sri Lankan with an average of 15, with one fifty to her name and two sixes in her 47 match career.

England’s cricket world collapsed. The English girls usually field like hawks, now they were fielding like a Sunday pub side. Jenny Gunn is usually frugal and hard to get away; she was tossing up dribble ball after ball. Elwiss dropped a catch that she’s taken in fielding practice 10,000 times.

Earlier on the Sri Lankan girls would have hoped for a plucky display and some sort of moral victory that they weren’t minnows anymore. Instead they crashed into the last over needing nine runs to win.

The last over was amazing.

Starting with a single to short fine leg to Surangika, Sri Lanka needed eight to win from five balls, and Kaushalya was on 49 from 39 balls.

Instead of showing any nerves, Kaushalya smacked a six over square leg. She celebrated like she had won the game, when in fact they still needed two from four.

The next ball Kaushalya tried to do the same thing, but hit it straight up in the air. The ball took a while to come down, and while it did, Kaushalya was smart enough to remain in Elwiss’ eyeline as she was about to take the chance that could have won England the game. Instead, she dropped it.

England briefly complained that Kaushalya had obstructed the field, but the replays showed Kaushalya had played it brilliantly, running off the pitch and in the general direction of Elwiss without ever actually getting in her way. Genius cricket, and tieing the scores.

The next ball she was run out when Surangika smacked the ball straight to mid-off, and Kaushalya ran, and Surangika did not. England had enough of their composure left to complete the run-out with ease.

Now Sri Lanka were nine wickets down – the scores were tied – and Surangika, the Sri Lankan keeper who has batted in every position from 3-11, had to score one run for victory off the last two balls.

She smacked the penultimate ball straight to point, no run. Instead of coming down to chat to her partner, she walked off to square leg to get rid of her frustration.

Now the game was set up perfectly. Underdogs up against the powerhouse of their sport, the reigning champions. Nine wickets down. Scores tied. A game televised around the world.

Surangika dealt with that by hitting a six. Her first ever international six. To win the first ever game against England for her country.

It was not an exciting game of women’s cricket, it was exciting cricket. It was about as far from a disgrace as you can get.

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Cricket With Balls’ Own Holly Colvin wins the world cup, others do things as well

You might be thinking, oh poor Jrod, look what happened to Bryce.

He must be crying into his full english breakfast.

Not so, while bryce has had a weekend worse than the time my foreskin got caught in a zipper, Cricket With Balls’ Own Holly Colvin hit the winning runs in the world cup.

Ying, Yang, and all that stupid shit.

I didn’t pick Holly thinking she would save me from McGain Pain, but she has.

She single-handedly won the world cup for England.

She bowled the most overs in the tournament.

Took 9 wickets at 18.

Had an economy rate of 2.65.

And then hit the winning runs.

But that is all bullshit, what she did was bring presence.

Presence doesn’t transcend into stats.

It is intangible, like turgid yogalates.

But she was the banker for the English team, they knew she wasn’t going to go for many, they knew other teams would have to go around her, like Daniel Vettori, only in a good team.

So while the pain of bryce’s mind fuck performance is there, Holly has evened my emotions out.

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New Zealand Get Pwned – Twice

It’s been a miserable weekend for Antipodean cricket.

First the NZ men are painfully outclassed by India.

Then Australia decide not to show up for the final test against the Saffers.

Finally, England Women wreck the Silver Ferns’ hopes of World Cup victory. New Zealand showed classic signs over overconfidence, bouyed no doubt by their record thrashing of Pakistan in the previous match and collapsed to 166 all out, without using up their 50 overs and losing 4 wickets to a bowler – Nicky Shaw – who had only come into the side at the last minute when Jenny Gunn failed a fitness test. Notwithstanding that 166 was something of a recovery from 101-7, it was still a pretty poor showing on what looked like a good batting track.

England, on the other hand, batted sensibly and would have won far more comfortably but for a mid order collapse brought about by good tactics (Lydia Greenaway), nerves (Beth Morgan’s comical runout) and umpiring howlers (captain Charlotte Edwards). A margin of 4 wickets barely reflected how comfortable the victory was.

Oh, and Cricket With Balls’ Very Own Holly Colvin hit the winning run. I missed the bit where she dedicated her success to Jrod, but I am sure that she did the decent thing…

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Aussie women get Raj’ed

Hosting a world cup is hard.

The Australian women’s team have proved the rule.

New Zealand and India have both beaten the Aussie ladies.

And without some sort of miracle, the Aussie girls aren’t going to make the final.

For some bizarre reason, this world cup has no semi finals.

I love semi finals.

Semi finals is where it’s at.

But not in this tournament, in this tournament it’s a super six and then a final.

Simple, cold, efficent. and i dare say, a few dollars cheaper.

While England, and who ever play them in the final, will be the two best performing sides, i like a team to have to win their way into a final in a sudden death match.

This has nothing to do with Australia, they are playing like ass.

Busted ass.

But if you are to play in the world cup final, there should have been at least one sudden death match to get you there.

None of this would matter to Australia.

India outplayed them last night.

Anjum Chopra did a lot of nothing, but still managed to make a half century and anchor the better batsmen.

Mithali Raj was majestical, as always and gave the innings it’s momentum.

And then Jhulan Goswami strode in with purpose and ensured Australia weren’t going to win.

Australia weren’t helped by the fact Ellyse (two Ls) Perry, their young gun, had what could only be described as a complete fucken shocker.

Going for over 6 an over, and making a duck.

But at least Brett Lee knows her name.

Which I am sure is all women’s cricketers really want.

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West Indies vs Pakistan

alamas akram, left arm around the wicketThe ICC Women’s World Cup is at the business end of the tournament. All of the top ranked nations are through with the exception of Sri Lanka who lost their place in the Super 6’s to the plucky little Pakistanis. England are flying and look like the team to beat with Australia struggling for form.

After a turbulent week in the office dealing with unhappy clients, plunging bottom lines and my own 10% salary reduction I was looking forward to heading out to Drummoyne Oval to see the West Indies take on Pakistan.

Unfortunately I missed the early clatter of West Indian wickets. The geniuses at the Sydney City Council forgot to erect any signs advising drivers that the city streets would be full of seamen from the Australian Navy. I’d hate to be on the crew cleaning up after that parade.

When finally arrived at the ground 25 minutes after play had begun the Pakistani opening bowlers had struck 3 times after Urooj Khan, the Pakistani captain and love child of Imran Khan and Benazir Bhutto (unconfirmed) won the toss and sent the West Indians into bat in overcast conditions.

Not long after I arrived the baby face assassin Alamas Akram had struck for the 3rd time. The left arm medium pacer had made good use of the conditions leaving the West Indians top order in tatters at 4 for 24.

I’m not sure if it was what Sherwin Campbell, West Indian coach and 52 test veteran was saying, “Run and slide”, “Come on play safe”, “Got to get forward”, “Lots of space”, “Long-on singles”, maybe it was more his deep, cool, laid back dulcitones wafting across the Drummoyne oval that relaxed his opener, Stephanie Taylor who began to slowly turn her sides fortune around.

Without Taylor’s patient innings of 55 off 115 balls the West Indies would have been sunk. The only other contributor of note was Deandra Dottin who’s total of 23 off 32 included a beautifully struck shot over mid-on for 4.

Throughout their innings the West Indians seemed hell bent on running each other out. Amazingly only two of their wickets fell to run outs.

At the end of their 50 over’s the West Indies had compiled a score of 9 for 132. While 20 runs less than what they would have wanted it was competitive tally against an inexperienced Pakistani line up.

The Pakistanis got off to a slow but steady start and after 19 over’s were 1 for 36. But with some tight bowling, the West Indies began to work their way back into the game, taking regular wickets and slowing the run rate to 1.8 runs an over.

With her side again starting to look like the Petersham Under 12’s at 5 for 55, captain, Urooj Khan combined with Armaan Khan for a 61 run partnership that swung the game. Armaan was in great form and hitting the ball sweetly, reaching the boundary 5 times including 2 crunching sixes.

One thing that surprised me during the game was the use of bandanas by players under their batting helmets. The first player I noticed was Stephanie Taylor from the West Indies who had an army camouflage bandana, a little strange, but not out of the ordinary. What was completely out of the ordinary was the bandana being worn by player of the match Almas Akram. Her bandana was in the form of the “Stars & Stripes”. The last time I saw a Pakistani with the piece of cloth resembling the stars & stripes they also had a lighter and an effigy of George.W.Bush.

With only 17 runs needed off 6 over’s Urooj threw away her wicket with a missed timed pull shot. But it wasn’t enough to stop Pakistan from causing one of the upsets of the tournament beating the West Indies by 4 wickets with Armaan hitting the winning runs and taking her tally to 43 not out.

The West Indies face England in their next game and a disappointed Sherwin Campbell indicated at the end of the game that some new players would be brought into the side.

Pakistan will be looking forward to taking on the defending champions, Australia on Monday in Bankstown. Player of the match Almas Akram was very happy with her performance and said “Yes this one is the best performance of my career”.

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A mouthful

Chaminda Vaas has some competition.

One of the members of the English women’s squad has a sensational name.

Ebony-Jewel

Cora-Lee

Camellia

Rosamond

Rainford-Brent

Or simply Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent.

Thanks to LB from sportsfreak for pointing her out.


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India vs Pakistan, Saturday 7 March, Bradman Oval, Bowral

It took me just over 3 hours to drive from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney to the picturesque Bradman Oval in Bowral, roughly the same amount of time it took India to defeat Pakistan in the first game of the ICC Woman’s Word Cup.

There are a lot of words that come to mind when describing the Pakistani batting – deplorable, disgraceful, and amateurish but I won’t use any of these words because I’m a nice guy.

India won the toss and sent Pakistan in. The locals were saying it was a good toss to win with a lot of moisture in the pitch.

From the first ball the Pakistanis intent seemed to be survival. At no stage was there any attempt to get onto the front foot and drive the ball, it was all forward defence.

With a clatter of early wickets Pakistan was reeling at 3/21. Out strode the diminutive skipper, Urooj Khan. I had high expectations for Khan. On Thursday I attended her press conference and was very impressed withthe way she had conducted herself, especially as this was only a day after the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan.

While the Pakistan team manager had directed the 6, yes only 6 journalists who attended the press conference to refrain from asking any questions on the events in Pakistan I couldn’t be more impressed with the way Khan handled herself. Her English was perfect and her answers succinct and confident.

Unfortunately for Pakistan the skipper’s impressive efforts behind the microphone were not replicated on the pitch. After making 2 runs from 7 balls Khan received a ball from the opposing skipper, Jhulan Goswami  that hit in the middle of the pitch but kept low going straight through Khan and clattering into the top of middle stump.

While there may have been a little bit of movement and some uneven bounce Khan’s is the only one that could be attribute their wicket to the condition of the pitch. The rest were a combination of poor shots and bad communication.

In the 26 over’s the Pakistanis faced they were only able to eke out a meagre 57 runs, Sana Mir top scoring with 17.

It wasn’t until the Pakistani team got out onto the field that I was amazed how young and small they looked compared to their opponents. Two players in particular, Javeria Khan (Wadood on the team sheet) and Alamas Akram looked no older than 15, and not the 20 year olds they are said to be.

Pakistan efforts did not improve once they hit the field to bowl. The fielding was sloppy and in the 10 over’s they bowled conceded 15 extras, 12 of them wides.

The paltry total of 57 was overhauled by India without the loss of a wicket and before the scheduled lunch break at 1.00pm.

Pakistan looked and played like the Petersham under 12’s today and it’s difficult to assess India. The opening batting pair of Deshpande and Chopra looked solid and Rumeli Dhar bowled well and was the player of the match taking 3 wickets for 7 runs. Of course India will make the 2nd phase and should make the semi finals but their 2nd and 3rd change bowlers looked vulnerable.

What I would say in keep an eye and ear out for the name Urooj Khan, she may not ever set the cricket world on fire but I could easily see her making a name for herself in politics. She is certainly one Khan that I would vote for.

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The women’s world cup starts here

Here at cricket with balls we are going to keep you updated on as much as the women’s world cup as we can. Because we like women’s cricket, well we like Holly Colvin. We even have a roving reporter, DoubleD, who is going to cover the world cup in cricket with balls style. Like all major sporting events, it started with a press conference, and DoubleD interviewed the girls with aplomb.

Entering the Windsor hotel wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Would there be a throng of media gathering, herded together, Dictaphones’ in hand hanging on every word of the players. This was my first ever attendance at a media open session, I wasn’t even sure if they would let me attend as I wasn’t able to get media accreditation.

After a few wrong turns I found my way to the 2nd floor where the West Indian were spread out in small groups chatting amongst themselves.  This was a little more casual than I had expected. There was a table in the middle of the room with some official looking ICC type people sitting there. “Hi my names DoubleD I’m with Cricket with Balls”. To my surprise they seemed to be expecting me. Some guy even apologised for not having my media pass ready. I signed some sort of official looking the sheet as requested, was handed my official media guide and was pretty much left to my own devices.

Now what do I do? After a few minutes shuffling papers and trying to psyche myself up I sheepishly approached the West Indian team manager and requested to speak to some of the players. “Sure no problem, who do you want to speak with?”, again this seemed far too easy. “Ummmm anyone”…

So there I was without any real idea of what I was doing, notepad in hand sitting down with the West Indian Vice Captain, Kirbyina Alexander and Anisa Mohammed.

My questions were all pretty cliché. How long have you been playing cricket? What are your expectations for the tournament? How is the teams form? And the responses were all pretty standard. I did get one interesting response when asked about the impact the collapse of the Sir Alan Stanford Empire has had, Kirbyina responded with “No Comment”. A bit taken aback I chuckled and followed up with, “Did you have money in one of his banks”? Again the response was “No Comment”, “ok then! Well thanks for your time and good luck with the tournament”.

I went back to the media manager to ask some questions about the team line up, where I was then directed to the Coach, Sherwin Campbell. Gee if I’m taller than Sherwin Campbell how short must Gus Logie be?? Again I asked some pretty stock standard questions and he was happy placate me and talk up his teams chances. I thanked him for his time and shook his hand; hmmm you really played 52 test matches?

I saw some English players milling around, with still 20 minutes left on my lunch break I thought I would have a crack.

I approached the ICC official and asked to speak with one of the English players. She came back with Charlotte Edwards.

Speaking with Charlotte Edwards I got the feeling I was 18 years old in a night club trying to pick her up, not that I would have tried, she is a little bit tall for me. Her eyes kept darting around the room looking for someone, anyone to come and save her from my inane questions.

As we began talking I noticed she was occasionally looking at my notepad, probably noticing that I wasn’t writing anything. Hey it’s not easy to speak, write and think of questions at the same time.

You could tell Charlotte was more accustomed to interviews then Kirbyina and Anisa from the West Indians. One issue I wanted to try and engage her on was the way female cricketers are sometimes depicted in glamorous photo shoots. I asked if she felt it was disappointing the female athletes still need to partake in sexy photo shoots.

She played me with a very straight bat. “Oh no I think the girls like getting made up; as long as it’s done tastefully I don’t think it’s a problem”.

I did think that her response to my questions on the team’s goal for the tournament was little too cliché not to mention, “we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think we could win”, well I don’t think that is quite true. I’m sure the English team would still turn up even if they couldn’t beat the Petersham under twelves.

I thanked Charlotte for her time and wished her all the best and with my very brief notes I headed back to work. I wasn’t that much the wiser but had survived my first open media open session.

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