That’s it for your Ashes summer in Cardiff. A 169-run victory in the Investec Test match, followed by a dramatic 5-run win in the NatWest IT20 – we could not ask for more. Well done England and thank you everybody for your support this summer!
Natalie Sciver added a mature innings of 47 to her first innings figures of 4/15, as England cruised to a five wicket triumph over Australia at The SSE SWALEC.
Charlotte Edwards’ team had already surrended the Women’s Ashes but picked up a confidence-boosting win in the final match of their Ashes summer.
Earlier, Anya Shrubsole’s 4/11 had restricted Australia to just 111 all out – a score that proved to be well short of par on a good looking SSE SWALEC pitch. England then reached 114/5 with 11 balls to spare to take a consolation victory thanks to Sciver, who was ably supported by Katherine Brunt (17) and Lydia Greenway (20*).
Sciver’s fourth wicket partnership of 55 off 54 balls with Brunt ensured the victory for England, but it was Australia’s Meg Lanning who collected the trophy after the Southern Stars’ 10-6 points win.
Defeats for England in the only Test at Canterbury and at Hove in last week’s T20 proved costly but the Cardiff crowd today were royally entertained by an impressive performance from the hosts, not least Sciver whose all-round attributes were clear for all to see.
A quick round-up of what the newspapers are writing about, as England kick-off their limited overs campaign at The SSE SWALEC today.
Morgan re-charged ahead of T20
The Mirror’s Dean Wilson reports that Eoin Morgan’s month-long rest from country cricket ought to stand him in good stead ahead of the upcoming series – and raring to go ahead of the T20 in Cardiff. They also reveal how Morgan spoke with Middlesex director (and England selector) Angus Fraser ahead of the proposed rest period which Morgan says has made him feel fully refreshed.
“The England one-day and T20 skipper downed tools after a miserable run of form for Middlesex left him tired and jaded,” Dean Wilson, Mirror Online.
Stoinis ready for Aussie debut
Marcus Stoinis’ international debut is the subject of the Sydney Morning Herald’s focus this morning. Their reporter Jesse Hogan writes that Stoinis has been backed by captain Steve Smith after his suprise inclusion in the team ahead of the likes of George Bailey and Joe Burns.
“Stoinis has not played in the Big Bash League since February 2014, having missed last season’s tournament due to injury. He was an unused member of Delhi’s squad in this year’s IPL,” Jesse Hogan, SMH.
Exciting One Day series in prospect
Vic Marks, writing in The Guardian expresses hope that the ODI and T20 matches could be tighter than the Test series, which swung one way and then the other, with landslide victories for both teams. Nonetheless, Marks says England will be determined to build their momentum in limited overs cricket and their opening pair of Moeen Ali and Alex Hales could excite.
“Moeen is designated to open with Alex Hales, which is an appetising prospect. Should one of them be significantly more successful than the other then his chances of opening the batting alongside Alastair Cook in England’s next Test are likely to be enhanced,” Vic Marks, Guardian/Observer.
As an another sell-out crowd descends on The SSE SWALEC, England’s men and women prepare to face their Australian counterparts once more.
For Eoin Morgan’s men’s side, the T20 marks the beginning of an exciting couple of weeks of limited-overs cricket, after their exhilarating performances against New Zealand earlier in the summer. The game also sees some of the victorious Ashes-winning side return to the ground where England hit the ground running with a brilliant 169-run victory over Michael Clarke’s Australia.
For Charlotte Edwards’ women’s side, they will have to face up to surrendering their Ashes mantle to Meg Lanning’s triumphant tourists who romped to an unassailable 10-4 points lead in the Women’s Ashes. Their match starts at 10.30 am, preceding the men’s clash.
Limited overs captain Morgan – who played no part in England’s 3-2 Ashes win – lauded the achievements of Alistair Cook’s side. He and Head Coach Trevor Bayliss will hope to use the momentum of that win to launch a successful One Day series, beginning with the T20 in Cardiff.
Morgan said: “I think this summer as a whole so far has been amazing for us, considering the winter we had. The Ashes win did contribute to that, the guys deservingly winning the series.”
And Morgan expects Steve Smith’s side to come roaring back in true Australian fashion in an entertaining and evenly-contested T20 game.
He added: “Playing against Australia is a tough task and tomorrow is a matter of looking ahead to opportunities that might fall in guys’ laps. The ideal scenario is that we don’t change the One Day team that much from the T20 team.”
With Joe Root joining Stuart Broad and James Anderson in being rested for the rest of the international summer and Ian Bell announcing his retirement from the shorter form, Morgan stressed limited overs cricket was still a priority for England. The sixth ICC T20 World Cup in Inidia looms large with England only playing seven T20 internationals between now and the start of the tournament.
Morgan was keen to look to the bigger pictures and targeted improved England displays at the major tournaments.
He added: “We haven’t spoken about ranking points at all. Resting players was obviously a priority this summer, given it was a huge summer for Ashes cricket. But now priority turns to the T20 world Cup and driving our One Day cricket forward.”
England, who endured a miserable 50-over World Cup down under in the winter, came out fighting with a squad full of young, vibrant talents against New Zealand and fans can expect the trend to continue.
Morgan said: I suppose from the World Cup we’ve tended to build a new team and a new squad of players, so you might see a few new faces over the series.”
Morgan also admitted England’s T20 form has not been good enough since they won the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean in 2010 – something they will look to rectify before India next year starting in Cardiff tomorrow.
With both Australia’s men and women holding their respective World Cup titles in 50-over cricket, England’s teams can expect a tough contest.
The action starts with the women’s game at 10.30am, before the men’s game at 3.00pm. Tickets are sold out and expect another lively atmosphere at a jam-packed SSE SWALEC.
The Australian captain Steve Smith, standing in for T20 captain Aaron Finch, took the unusual step of naming his team for tomorrow’s game at the pre-match press conference.
Smith, who will lead a new-look Australia team at the same ground where the tourists fell behind in the Ashes Test series, was joined by Australia women’s vice-captain Alex Blackwell.
The new captain fielded questions about how his team may bounce back from Ashes disappointment and when asked who may replace Finch at the top of the Australian batting order, Smith reeled-off the full XI to take on England on Monday.
“Watson is going to open the batting tomorrow,” said Smith.
He then confirmed the full team as follows:
Shane Watson, David Warner, Steve Smith (capt.), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Cameron Boyce.
After struggling in Englilsh (and Welsh conditions) on the tour, Smith reiterated how vital it was for the Australians to test themselves in tough batting conditions.
Smith scored 33 in both innings in the first Investec Ashes Test at The SSE SWALEC and will hope to fare better on his second visit to South Wales.
He said: “I think playing in these conditions is really important for us. Every opportunity we get to play in these conidtions, we have to relish.
“It’s been disappoitnting for us with the Ashes and not being able to retain them, but it’s a fresh start for us, a new captain obviously and hopefully i can take this team forward.”
Smith admitted surrendering the Ashes over to England after their 3-2 series defeat had been tough to take but said the team needed to look forward, starting with the T20 encounter at Cardiff. He also suggested that the fresh faces in the squad – including the likes of uncapped Mitchell Stoinis and leg-spinner Cameron Boyce – could inject some much-needed life into a tiring squad.
He added: “We want to start this tour well and gain some momentum going into the One-Dayers. It’s been a long tour for some of the Test guys and having some new faces brings some exuberance into the group.”
Full audio of Smith and Brackwell’s conference:
David Warner says the Australian women’s team have set the standard for the men’s side, after Meg Lanning’s team clinched the women’s Ashes series.
Warner, speaking ahead of the NatWest International T20 double-header at Cardiff on Monday, said the women’s team can act as an inspiration as the men’s side seek to recover from their Ashes defeat.
“It’s a fantastic acheivement winning that over here and they’ve set the benchmark for the Australian men’s team,” said Warner. “They’re number 1 in the world for all three formats of the game, so credit to Meg and her team, they’ve set a great example for Australian cricket.”
Warner also backed the move to stage both the men’s and women’s T20 on the same day in front of a packed SSE SWALEC.
He added: “It’s really exciting, especially for the women to come and play in front of a big crowd. We’ll be getting together tonight to celebrate their victory,
“Our focus is now on Twenty20 cricket and we’re really excited about this one-off game in Cardiff.
“It’s about entertaining the poeple that come and watch. We love this game, love the format but we have a T20 world cup coming up in India so we’ve got to put on a show for the rest of the world.”
With Michael Clarke announcing his retirement from all forms of international cricket and T20 captain Aaron Finch ruled out through injury, Steve Smith will lead the team. And Warner backed his New South Wales teammate to thrive in the shorter format.
Warner said: “Steve is a very good captain and we’ve seen that in the Test matches and the ODIs.”
Cameron Boyce also comes into the squad and Warner was excited to see how the young wrist spinner fares on Welsh soil.
He added: “Cameron is a very consistent leg spin bowler and it’s hard to find a consistent leg spinner, but he’s got a lot of variations. It will be really exciting to see how he goes.”
Warner is expected to open the batting for the tourists on Monday. The double header gets underway with the women’s game at 10.30am.
Australia’s new-look squad go through their paces on Saturday morning at The SSE SWALEC. Their squad includes nine players who did not feature in their Test squad.
AUSTRALIA SQUAD FOR IT20: S Smith (capt), D Warner, G Maxwell, G Bailey, S Watson, M Marsh, J Pattinson, M Wade (wk), P Cummins, N Coulter-Nile, M Starc, C Boyce, A Agar, J Burns, M Stoinis.
See our gallery of photos below: