The #Ashes still alive at Lords. Watch the 1st ODI tonight via livestreaming http://www.cricket.com.au/southern-stars-live

In the past, the Women’s Ashes would have already been completed with Australia retaining the trophy after the recent draw last week at Wormsley.

Now that doesn’t sound bad too for an Aussie supporter given the poor performances from our male team in their current Ashes series, but with the new format for this Women’s Ashes series being played over three formats, the drawn test saw both teams receive two points,  meaning the Ashes series is still very much alive for both teams.

On equal points, England need to win more than three games to regain the Ashes whereas Australia only need to win three out of the six remaining matches to retain the Ashes.

This Ashes Series is certainly heading down the path of being a nail bitting series.

With the one off Test completed we say goodbye to a format that is rarely played at an International level for women and move to the more recognisable formats of 50-over and T20 cricket.

Does this give an advantage to one team?

To continue to read the full article please follow the link to http://www.cricket.com.au/blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/20/ashes-still-alive

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The @SouthernStars ahead…just #womensashes Crucial day 3 ahead for the girls. good luck.

 

Fans who are following the Women’s Ashes Test currently being played at Womsley will know that it has the same amount of drama and theatre about it as the Men’s Ashes Test Series being currently played.

At the end of day two the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars are slightly ahead, but I can’t help feeling that Australia has allowed England to claw their way back into the match a few times. 

On day one with the run rate, and on day two by being unable to remove Heather Knight, who by all accounts is playing a typical gutsy test match innings. 

This Test may have a twist yet.

That said the day, or as we say back home in Australia, “the play of the day”, still goes to Sarah Elliott for her maiden International Test century. 

Elliott, known to all as super mum now, started day two on 95. 

Social media and BBC commentary was abuzz willing on Elliott to reach her Test century, Australian and English fans alike. 

After giving all of us a nervous wait (24 balls to be exact!!), the moment for the first Australian mum to raise her bat as she notched up her maiden Test century. 

Special thank you to ABC Grandstand for live streaming the BBC commentary – I was walking around the house with my ear phones in hoping with everything that Elliott would reach that wonderful milestone

Following Elliott reaching her century, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars immediately looked to increase the run-rate, the selfless intent by both Elliott and Blackwell was very noticeable. 

As a result, not long after Elliott raised her bat, she walked off the picturesque ground of Wormsley. 

Her mammoth innings came to end on 104, having spent 333 minutes at the crease with 14 fours.

From there England picked up Field (6) and Blackwell (54) in quick succession, but that only brought Ellyse Perry to the wicket who was clearly in a rush. 

In the next seven overs the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars through Perry (31* off 24 balls) and Osborne (10* off 20 balls) went at a rate just over six runs per over, with Perry the main destroyer.  

This enabled Australia to declare at 6-331 with England having to face a difficult 18 minutes of play prior to lunch.

To continue to read the full article please follow the link to http://www.cricket.com.au/blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/13/southern-stars-ahead-just 

 

Super mum puts @SouthernStars in a good position. #ashes

After Day one of the Women’s Ashes Series, Sarah Elliott has guided the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars to comfortable position with an unbeaten 95, leaving Australia 3-243 at stumps.

At the start of the day the sun tried to pop its head out from behind the clouds as the crowd rolled in and set up their tents and picnic rugs around the picturesque ground of Wormsley. 

It was estimated that over 2000 people enjoyed the day’s play with hopes of a bigger crowd for crucial day two.

The day was full excitement as not only was it day one of a test match, there were a number of players from both teams that were making their Test debut. 

From the Australian side it was Meg Lanning, Holly Ferling, Erin Osborne and Megan Schutt, and from England, Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole. 

The women’s teams get to play Test matches so infrequently that a Test debut is a real treasure.

With the pitch described by the BBC commentators as straw in colour that was quite hard, it was a great toss to win by Jodie Fields and our openers, Haynes and Lanning set to enforce that.

To read the full article please follow the link to http://www.cricket.com.au/blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/12/super-mum-puts-stars-in-a-good-position 

Good luck to our @SouthernStars as they begin their #Ashes campaign. Here is my preview to the Test match at Womsley that kicks off very shortly #retaintheurn

The feeling amongst the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars in the lead up to the start of the Ashes Test at Womsley on Sunday 11th August will be one of excitement and anticipation. 

Speaking from experience, as a female cricketer, the chance to play a Test match is a rarity. Take for instance my career for Australia, which spanned over 12 years, I only played in 8 Test matches. Compare this to Michael Clarke who has played at the top level for 9 years and has played in 95 Tests and is still going.

It goes without saying that it is an honour and privilege to wear the Baggy Green and it arouses emotions rarely felt when playing in the other formats.  It is also unique, as it feels strange wearing white clothes and pads. In Australia, when playing domestic and club cricket, for all one-day and T20 format we wear coloured clothing. So you combine the honour and privilege that comes with wearing the Baggy Green, with wearing whites and playing with a red ball, and the excitement , pride and nerves of the players will be at an all time high. 

To read the full article please follow the link to http://www.cricket.com.au/blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/10/ashes-hopes-rest-with-stars

 

Stars begin tour in style. #WomensAshes #cricket Getting excited for the Test to begin on Sunday!!

Day 2 of the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars’ tour match was going to be of interest to players, staff and fans, as the squad is not familiar with resuming play the next day, with Test matches and 2-day matches being few and far between.

At 7-250 at the start of day two, Erin Osborne and Alyssa Healy (20) picked up where they left off the night before by adding 29 runs before England A broke the partnership with Osborne falling lbw after a well-constructed 33.

Unfortunately for England A, who had been toiling hard in the field, the fall of the wicket brought Elyse Villani in at 10.  Villani normally bats at the top of the order, but as with most warm up matches, the visiting team is allowed to play all their players in either innings to give them valuable time in the middle. Therefore, the Southern Stars had an extra-long batting order. 

Although coming in further down the order didn’t seem to bother Villani, as she went on to score 45 runs off 65 balls and was the last batter out with the final score on 340 runs off 94.1 overs.

The pick of England A’s bowlers were K. Cross (4-48) and R.Grundy (3-29).

I expected that the team would be looking forward to getting onto the field together after posting a large total, as the last time was the World Cup Final in February. This was reinforced by Ellyse Perry in her comments after the days play, where she said “it has been a while since we have played as a squad and it was a great feeling to be out there with the whole team, I really enjoyed it.“

To continue reading the story please head to http://www.cricket.com.au/blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/7/stars-begin-tour-in-style

Rain doesn’t dampen the @SouthernStars preparation. #WomensAshes #cricket

Whilst rain may have prevented the Australian men returning the urn from England, it didn’t dampen the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars from getting exactly what they wanted out of the two-day practice match they are currently playing against England A.

The match is being played at Radlett Cricket Ground in Hertfordshire and star batter Jess Cameron observed at the close of play on day one that the conditions were similar to what they expect to face at Wormsley when the Test begins on August 11.

The Stars were able to pile on the runs at a quick pace until rain stopped play with Australia 7/250 off 62.2 overs.

To continue reading the story please head to http://www.cricket.com.au/blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/6/rain-doesnt-dampen-stars 

Never fear the @SouthernStars are here! #ashes #cricket

No doubt cricket enthusiasts around Australia were glued to the television watching day 1 of the 3rd Ashes Test till the wee hours of this morning as the Australian team put on a strong batting performance, but they are not the only Australians that woke up feeling tired and blurry eyed today. There was another group that hardly slept too. As many of you no doubt know, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars left our shores yesterday to start their own Ashes Series.

 

The men’s team headed to England aiming to return the urn, whereas the women’s are flying over with the Ashes firmly in their hands and will do everything in their power not to let the Poms near it.

 

Unlike the men’s Ashes Series which is being fought over 5 Test Matches, the Women’s Ashes Series will be contested over 3 different formats for the first time.  In an effort to balance schedules, retaining a test match and continuing the growth of the women’s game the ECB and Cricket Australia introduced the new format, which each match allocated weighted points. The test match is allocated 6 points for a win and 2 points for a draw. One-day international and International Twenty20 matches are allocated 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw.

 

The team accruing the most points after the Test match, three ODI’s and three T20’s will be declared the winner of the Women’s Ashes Series. If there is a draw at the end of the 7 matches Australia will retain the Ashes, as they are the current holders. Whoever wins the test match will certainly be in a strong position to secure the Ashes.

So how will our Southern Stars go?

To continue reading please head to www.cricket.com.au/blogs/lisa-sthalekar/2013/8/2/never-fear-the-southern-stars-are-here