England vs Australia – Second T20 International of Women’s Ashes
Location: The Kia Oval Date: July 5 Time: 18:00 BST
Broadcast: Comprehensive Test Match Special commentary on BBC Sounds, BBC Radio 5 Live, and the website and app, where you’ll find real-time text commentary and live video clips (available only in the UK)
The task at hand for England entering the second Ashes T20 at the Kia Oval is straightforward.
Victory is paramount, or they risk losing the trophy at the earliest possible stage.
Alyssa Healy’s Australian squad carries a six-point lead after their triumphs in the Test match, contributing four points, and the inaugural T20 at Edgbaston.
England is now tasked with securing nine out of a potential ten points to reclaim the Ashes.
Facing such a daunting challenge against any team is difficult, but more so against the reigning double world champions and Commonwealth Games victors.
“Crazier things have happened in cricket,” England’s spinner Sophie Ecclestone stated, speaking about England’s prospects of erasing a 6-0 deficit.
“We’re prepared for this challenge – we’re crystal clear on what’s required. We’re not far behind them, which bolsters our confidence going into the remainder of the series.”
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Ecclestone has been integral to England’s efforts to compete with Australia in the two matches so far, capturing 10 wickets in the Trent Bridge Test and delivering 2-24 at Edgbaston, where the visitors narrowly won off the second-last ball.
The top-ranked T20 left-arm spinner expressed that the record-breaking crowds witnessed during the series have energized England, irrespective of the outcomes.
She’s hopeful that similar crowd support at the historic Oval ground could swing the advantage to England’s side on Wednesday.
“Seeing the nearly 20,000 strong crowd after all the hard work we’ve done, on and off the pitch, feels rewarding and confirms that we’re inspiring the next generation.
We’re aware it’s an uphill battle to win five straight games, but with the crowd backing us, we’re optimistic,” she said.
So far, the series’ overall attendance has surpassed the entirety of England’s last home Ashes in 2019.
England’s seamer Lauren Bell resonated with Ecclestone’s sentiments but mentioned that the series has been “exasperating” due to their near misses against Australia.
“This series undoubtedly highlights our progress in closing the gap,” Bell remarked.
“There’s a shared belief in the dressing room that we’re making strides, but we’re competing against the world’s best, requiring our absolute best to triumph.
There are just a handful of moments we can improve, and winning a few more of those critical moments could tip the scales in our favor,” she concluded.
Australia boasts an astounding track record, having won 23 of their last 24 T20s, their only loss being to India in a super over in December 2022.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Women’s Ashes T20
Where is the second T20 of the Women’s Ashes series being held?
The second T20 of the Women’s Ashes series is being held at the Kia Oval.
Who won the first T20 match and the Test match in the current Women’s Ashes series?
Alyssa Healy’s Australian team won both the Test match and the first T20 match.
How many points does England need to reclaim the Ashes?
England needs to secure nine out of a potential ten points to regain the Ashes.
Who has been a key player for England in the current Women’s Ashes series?
Sophie Ecclestone, the left-arm spinner, has been a key player for England in the current series.
How does the crowd support impact the England team?
The record-breaking crowd attendance during the series has given the England team an extra boost, according to Sophie Ecclestone. She also suggests that a similar crowd at the Oval could provide an advantage to England.
How has England’s performance been compared to Australia’s so far?
Although England is trailing by six points, they have been able to closely compete with Australia in the matches so far. They believe they are gradually closing the gap with the world’s top team.
What is Australia’s recent T20 record?
Australia has won 23 out of their last 24 T20 matches, with their only defeat coming from a super over against India in December 2022.