Crick­eters face mu­sic af­ter flop

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

AUS­TRALIA coach Matthew Mott ad­mits he and his side will face some tough ques­tions af­ter crash­ing out of the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

The de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons lost by 36 runs to In­dia at Derby fol­low­ing a bat­ting on­slaught from Syd­ney Thun­der WBBL star Har­man­preet Kaur.

Kaur smashed 20 fours and seven sixes in her un­beaten 171 from just 115 de­liv­er­ies as In­dia chalked up an im­pos­ing 4- 281 in 42 overs af­ter the match was short­ened due to a three- hour rain de­lay.

In re­sponse, Meg Lan­ning’s side slumped to 245 all out af­ter Alex Black­well hit 90 from 56 balls in a last- wicket stand of 76 with Kris­ten Beams.

Aside from Black­well, El­yse Vil­lani ( 75) and Ell­yse Perry ( 38), no other player scored more than 14, with Lan­ning fall­ing for an eight- ball duck in a rare fail­ure with the bat.

“Pat Howard, the boss, will cer­tainly ask some ques­tions so when we get home we’ll have to face the mu­sic I guess,” said Mott.

“We’ll go through what went right, what went wrong and there’ll be a lot of ques­tions asked.

“We came here with the ex­pec­ta­tion to win. We had a team that could have won.

“Now’s not the time. We’ll let it digest. We’re hurt­ing a fair bit at the mo­ment but there’s cer­tainly a lot of ar­eas we can work on.”

Kaur’s in­nings mir­rored that of Sri Lanka’s Chamari Ata­p­attu, who scored 178 ear­lier in the tour­na­ment, with the Aus­tralian bowlers again hav­ing no an­swer to a player in im­pe­ri­ous touch with the bat.

Lan­ning con­ceded she was at a loss as to how to stop Kaur.

“We just sort of gave her a lit­tle bit too much to work with and it was pretty hard ground to de­fend once she got go­ing,” Lan­ning said.

“In hind­sight maybe if you had some­one dif­fer­ent but our spin­ners have done a great job for us ... and it just didn’t re­ally hap­pen to­day.

“I had to turn to El­yse Villa- ni there for an over just to try some­thing dif­fer­ent and hope that it worked but it didn’t.”

Lan­ning and her play­ers will re­turn to an un­cer­tain fu­ture with the squad of­fi­cially un­em­ployed and the MoU dis­pute be­tween Cricket Aus­tralia and the Aus­tralian Crick­eters’ As­so­ci­a­tion no closer to a res­o­lu­tion. Sev­eral of the squad will re­main in England to play in the domestic T20 com­pe­ti­tion but Lan­ning will re­turn home for treat­ment on her dam­aged shoul­der.

UN­STOP­PABLE: In­dia bats­man Har­man­preet Kaur hit 171 not out. Pic­ture: GETTY IM­AGES

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