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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Aussies need to raise the bar as competition standard increases

The all-conquering Australian Women's Cricket Team have tasted some rare defeats in recent months, dropping both the ODI and T20 series in the Women’s Ashes before losing to the West Indies for the first time in more than seven years on Monday after being on the wrong end of the biggest chase in Women’s T20i history.

Australia star Beth Mooney says she is excited to see the standard of women’s cricket improving across the board.

Mooney told Sports Breakfast she had never been convinced the gap between her side and the rest of the world was as big as some have claimed.

“What we’re seeing is investment from boards around the world, and global cricket is just going from strength to strength,” Mooney said.

“We’ve seen Sri Lanka beat England in England and New Zealand at home, Pakistan beat South Africa.

“We’re seeing some of those subcontinent nations especially that perhaps haven’t had the same resources and funding as the more really well-known and resourced nations really take it to those countries.”

West Indies star Hayley Matthews has been the major thorn in Australia’s side in the opening series of the summer, backing up her 99 in the first game by smashing a brilliant 132 from just 64 balls to all but haul her side over the line in the second.

Mooney said her side was full of admiration for the opposing captain, who has also claimed four wickets in the series with her off-spin.

“It was one of those games, whether you’re on the winning side or the losing side, it was just an absolute spectacle and a pleasure to be part of,” she said.

“We weren’t on the winning side, so you sit back and go ‘Oh, if we had’ve taken these catches or bowled a couple of overs a bit better, we might’ve got over the line’, but at the same time, that’s T20 cricket, you can have one person have a day out and you’re on the back foot.

“Those are tough games to debrief because you can nitpick all you want but that’s just the nature of the format.”

Mooney has had a slow start to the season by her own lofty standards, making a duck in WA’s opening WNCL game before scoring 11 and 29 in the T20i’s in the West Indies series, but she said she is confident a big score is just around the corner.

“You can’t really dwell too much [on it]. T20 cricket’s always going to be hard,” she said.

“I’d like the West Indies to drop some of my balls that go in the air instead of everyone else’s, but at the same time, that’s how the game works.

“I’m doing all the right things and pretty clear and confident in my plans so I’m sure it’ll come off eventually, but if it doesn’t, we know we've got strength in depth in this batting lineup so someone will step up and score the runs.”

The third and deciding T20i of the series gets underway at 4:05pm WA time tomorrow at Allan Border Field before the ODI series kicks off on Sunday at the same venue.

IMAGE:Sydney Morning Herald

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