Women’s Ashes: England’s third T20 against Australia abandoned because of rain

A general view of the Adelaide Oval as rain falls on the covers
Heavy rain fell all day in Adelaide
Women’s Ashes, Third Twenty20, Adelaide Oval
No result; Australia lead series 4-2

England’s third and final Twenty20 against Australia in the Women’s Ashes was abandoned without a ball being bowled because of rain in Adelaide.

Australia now lead the multi-format series 4-2 as each side take one point.

The hosts won the first T20 by nine wickets, before the second T20 was also abandoned because of rain.

The two sides next face each other in a one-off Test from 27-30 January in Canberra, with four points on offer for the winner.

Victory for Australia in the Test will guarantee the holders retain the Ashes as England would only be able to secure an 8-8 draw at best.

The three one-day internationals that follow the Test are worth two points each.

“It’s really frustrating but we’re just going to have to prepare as best we can for the Test,” England captain Heather Knight told BBC Test Match Special.

“We’ve had some really good preparation in the last couple of years in Test cricket, but it’s a pretty quick turnaround, so it’s going to be quite tricky.”

The four-day Test at the Manuka Oval starts at 23:00 GMT on 26 January.

Since the first multi-format series in 2013, three of the five Tests have been drawn, with England and Australia winning one each.

“Previously when we’ve not been at our best we’ve gone into our shells a little bit, so we’ve talked about the way to beat the Aussies is to be aggressive,” added Knight.

“We have to be positive in the Test and make a plan to try and win it.”

There are no reserve days in the Women’s Ashes and the series was brought forward by a week to allow both teams to quarantine before the subsequent World Cup in New Zealand.

“Reserve days in Ashes and World Cups would be useful – the schedule is massively condensed this year so there is no wiggle room but it would be good in future series if they could be worked in,” said Knight.

“A five-day Test would also make everything better for the players and the viewers and make sure you don’t miss cricket.”

The previous series in Australia in 2017-18 was drawn 8-8, with the hosts retaining the Ashes having regained them with victory in England in 2015.

Australia thrashed England 12-4 in the last Ashes in 2019.

Vlaeminck out of Ashes and World Cup

Australia fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck bowls against England in the first T20 of the Women's Ashes
Injuries have limited Tayla Vlaeminck to only 24 appearances for Australia in all formats since her debut in 2018

Australia fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck has been ruled out of the rest of the Women’s Ashes and the upcoming 50-over World Cup with another stress fracture in her right foot.

A similar injury prevented Vlaeminck, 23, from playing in the 2020 T20 World Cup, which Australia won.

Vlaeminck played in the opening T20 and bowled at impressively high pace but then missed the washed out second match.

“For it to happen so early in this Ashes campaign, it’s absolutely shattering for her and for the whole group,” Australia head coach Matthew Mott told Channel Seven.

“It was a pretty sombre dressing room last night.

“She knows what it’s about, she’s come back before. We’ll put our arm around her and do everything we can to build her back up.”

The Women’s World Cup starts in New Zealand on 4 March.

Australia are already without leg-spinner Georgia Wareham through injury for the Ashes and the World Cup, while slow left-armer Sophie Molineux is also missing the Ashes but is expected to be fit in time for the World Cup.

Batter Beth Mooney could be in line for a stunning return to the side in time for the one-off Test despite having surgery on a fractured jaw on Tuesday.

Mooney was seemingly ruled out of the entire Ashes after sustaining the injury when she was hit under the grille of her helmet in training.

However, the 28-year-old has already returned to light training and has been facing under-arm deliveries in the nets.

“She’s in good nick, we’ll certainly look at her for the Test match,” said Mott.

“All the indications are looking very positive. She’s a warrior. She’s tough. We can’t wait to have her back in our group.”

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