International Player Focus: Annabel Sutherland (Australia)

AFTER a hard fought second ODI that went down to the wire, Australia ultimately prevailed over India to take an unassailable lead in its three-match series.

One key cog in turning the match in Australia’s favour was Annabel Sutherland.

The young quick helped give the back end of the Australian innings a bit of an added boost before a well timed trio of wickets helped slow down the Indian scoring, ultimately to the point where the task to pull off the win in the final over was too much for the hosts.

Her first involvement in the match was with the bat. She came out to bat with the score at 5/170 and her stabilising force helped boost the tally up to 219 before she was dismissed almost 10 overs later.

Although she only scored 23, which included one four, she was the constant presence up the other end as those around her did the scoring.

She is the kind of player that is really developing into a true allrounder, and those kinds of performances with the bat proved that it is not always the biggest scores that can prove crucial to a team’s success, but there are other ways to do it too.

However, her more crucial influence on the game came with her bowling.

Before Sutherland nabbed her first wicket in the second over of her spell, India were travelling along well. Richa Ghosh and Deepti Sharma were sitting on a 46 run partnership and Ghosh in particular was looking hard to stop, speeding towards what was looking like a really strong and crucial century.

Enter Sutherland, who came in and was able to take what turned out to be the crucial wicket of Ghosh.

The balls at the start of the over had been a four, a dot, a wide and then two singles, so it had been a mixed bag. Then the wicket ball was low and straight and was hit with some force, straight into the hands of an outstretched Phoebe Litchfield just inside the ring. She took it well and securely and Ghosh had to go.

It was the pivotal wicket, as it was the beginning of the slow down from the Indians that ultimately left them with too much to do in the final over to secure the win.

Sutherland’s second wicket came in the first over of the next over she bowled.

The ball itself only had a tiny bit of deviation from its line, but was still dead on with the stumps and because Amanjot Kaur had stepped back to give herself some room, it went straight past her and she was bowled.

The third of her wickets came in the next over she bowled after that.

The first half of her over had seen three singles conceded, but then ball four saw Pooja Vastrakar sky the ball to Ash Gardner on the boundary and she had to go.

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