This week’s Winter Watch has an international feel to it with Chris Jordan, Danni Wyatt, Freya Davies and Laurie Evans all in action for England, while Luke Wells enjoyed an incredible knock in Australia.
England were put into bat by South Africa in their first ODI since the World Cup final in July, and the world champions set their hosts 259 to win after an impressive 87 from Joe Denly and Jordan’s unbeaten 1* at the end of the innings.
In reply, South Africa batted impressively to seal a seven-wicket win with two overs remaining, but CJ was still miserly with the ball and took figures of 1-30 from his five overs after trapping Temba Bavuma LBW for 98.
The second ODI was curtailed due to persistent rain in Durban, but that didn’t stop Jordan from taking another wicket – despite bowling just two balls – after Eoin Morgan opted to bowl first.
Bavuma was Jordan’s victim once again, with a full delivery clattering into his pads to send him on his way for 21 off 17 balls, before the match was abandoned after another downpour.
The weather was far brighter in Johannesburg on Sunday, however, when England again opted to bowl first after winning the toss.
Both sides wore pink for breast cancer awareness, and the vibrant atmosphere was helped by David Miller’s explosive batting at the end of the innings which saw South Africa finish on 256-7.
Despite that strong finish from the hosts, England successfully navigated their chase to win by two wickets with Moeen Ali (17*) and CJ (0*) seeing their side home.
England now look ahead to the T20 leg of their tour, which starts on Wednesday.
The England Lions have been in one-day action, too, with Laurie Evans hitting 94 off 89 balls on his debut last week.
Since then, Evans and the Lions have been frustrated by the weather with two matches washed out, but the second unofficial ODI survived the weather and England won by four wickets.
Evans hit 11, and will be hoping to end the series strongly as the Lions again take on a Cricket Australia XI tomorrow.
With the women’s T20 World Cup fast approaching, Danni Wyatt and Freya Davies are the other Sussex stars to have been in international action, but they were unlucky to see their involvement in the Commbank tri-series ended on net run-rate.
Heather Knight’s side started the weekend with a four-wicket win over India, after they restricted their opponents to 123-6 on Friday night.
Davies ended with figures of 0-25 from her four overs, and in reply, Wyatt got England off to a solid start with 14 off 16 balls, before Nat Sciver sealed her side victory with 50 off 38 balls.
Sadly, England were unable to build on that victory in their final match of the group, despite a bowling performance described by Knight as their most complete of the series.
Australia were England’s opponents, and the spin of Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn saw them restricted to 132-7.
However, the Australian spinners were also able to utilise a slow, used track to win by 16 runs, with Wyatt out for 11 and England out of the series because of their inferior net run-rate.
It was a disappointing end to the tri-series, but Wyatt reached a personal milestone in becoming England’s most-capped T20I player – overtaking Jenny Gunn’s previous record of 104 caps. In that time, the Sussex star has hit two T20I centuries, scored a total of 1,530 runs and taken 46 wickets.
Wyatt wasn’t the only Sussex player to make history over the weekend, with Luke Wells making the second-highest score in District/Premier Cricket for 115 years.
Wells hit a stunning 33 fours and 14 sixes on his way to 290 for Casey South Melbourne in their league match against the Greenvale Kangaroos. It was an amazing knock, only ever bettered by Bill Ponsford’s 295 in 1927.
The Sussex batsman has now hit three centuries for Casey South this season, and looks to be in excellent form ahead of his return to Hove in March.