Australia vs England Second WT20 Preview and Prediction: Can England Bounce Back?

Tahlia McGrath in WT20 action for Australia vs England.
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Women’s Ashes action continues with the second T20 between hosts Australia and their visitors England. It has been a miserable trip for England so far, across both the men’s and the women’s series, but this England women’s team still have a good chance to restore some pride to the badge. Read on for our full Australia vs England second WT20 preview and prediction:

Australia vs England Second WT20 Preview and Prediction

Series So Far

England got off to an excellent start in the first T20 with Danni Wyatt and Tammy  Beaumont putting on opening stand of 82. That was higher than any of the three combinations of openers in the men’s Test series managed. Wyatt then combined with Nat Sciver for another promising partnership, but unfortunately for England, things rather unravelled thereafter. Sciver fell in the seventeenth over and two balls later Wyatt followed her, with Tahlia McGrath taking both wickets.

That double-strike saw England limp to the conclusion, with McGrath picking up the wicket of Amy Jones to add to the tourists’ struggles, posting a score of 169. It looked competitive enough, but Australia quickly set about proving otherwise. Meg Lanning, promoted to the top of the order in the absence of Beth Mooney, combined with Tahlia McGrath to recover from the early loss of Alyssa Healy for a century stand as Australia chased down the target in double quick time, requiring just 17 overs.

Expected Teams

It would be a surprise to see many changes to the England side even after their defeat. Wyatt and Beaumont’s place at the top of the order is assured, as is Sciver’s spot at number three. That leaves captain Heather Knight, who didn’t get a chance to get going, to come in at four with keeper-batter Amy Jones in at five. Sophia Dunkley, who scored 10 off five balls, will bat at six, with Katherine Brunt the likeliest option at seven in the absence of Maia Bouchier, who picked up a knee injury in the first game.

Sophie Ecclestone took England’s lone wicket in the first innings and was also England’s most economical bowler. She will be hoping for more from her teammates in this second match. Sarah Glenn struggled badly, going at 13 an over and not carrying a great deal of threat, but has the quality to bounce back. Freya Davies was also not at her best, conceding 29 runs in three overs. If Bouchier does indeed miss out, batting all-rounder Sophia Dunkley could be in line to replace her.

There is little cause for Australia to change their squad either. Grace Harris could slot in at the top of the order, but it seems unlikely that Australia will be looking for changes there after Lanning deputised for Mooney so ably. McGrath burnished her credentials as a genuine all-rounder whilst Racheal Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner and Harris will all be desperate to join the action after not being called upon to bat in the first game.

That was thanks to the fine bowling performances of McGrath as well as Megan Schutt and Tayla Vlaeminck. That pair did go wicketless, but they were miserly for the most part and both finished their four-over spells having gone at less than eight. Alana King made an impressive start to her international career with figures of 1/28, but Nicola Carey and Jess Jonassen were both targeted by the English batters and will be hoping for an improved performance.

Prediction

In the first match, Australia demonstrated the importance not just of taking wickets, but taking them at the right times, in T20 cricket. Removing both set batters in the 17th over gave England little chance of accelerating at the end of the innings and that allowed Australia to restrict England’s total. Both teams are capable of doing that, but Australia probably have the edge with both bat and ball. Expect that to be reflected in the result.

Prediction: Australia win.

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