Experienced Southern Stars pair Elyse Villani and Alex Blackwell celebrates the former's catch on the boundary during the Women's Ashes One Day International in Brisbane.
Experienced Southern Stars pair Elyse Villani and Alex Blackwell celebrates the former's catch on the boundary during the Women's Ashes One Day International in Brisbane. Jason O'Brien/Getty Images

Southern Stars focus on intensity in the field

WHILE the Australian team has their eyes on making more runs in the second match of the Women's Ashes, it's saving them with the ball that has been a key focus leading into the series against England.

The catch taken balancing precariously inside the boundary rope by Elyse Villani to dismiss Natalie Sciver was evidence of the work the Southern Stars put in to their fielding in the build up to the series.

"We really pride ourselves on our fielding, we want to be the best fielding team in the world," Australian captain Rachael Haynes said.

"It's important for us to set a standard and I thought we did that really well in game one.

"I think there was probably a couple of catches that went down that we'd like to have taken but conversely we saw some really good, excellent efforts in the outfield as well so I think you'll keep seeing us trying to raise that bar."

The next opportunity to show off the skills that can save crucial runs in such a tight contest comes tomorrow when the second One Day International is played in Coffs Harbour.

Haynes said the Australians expect the opposition to produce a better effort with the bat than the 228 the English made in Brisbane on Sunday.

"I think we'll probably see them a little bit stronger there, some of their bigger players standing up, getting some big runs as they've shown they can do in the past," she said.

"We'll obviously be looking to nullify that as much as we can."

While saving runs is a focus Haynes said scoring more runs with the bat was a major point of discussion after the series opening win.

"There were a few starts in there and no real big scores. I think Al Blackwell was the only one who really got on with it in game one,"

"Definitely from our batting group we'll be looking forward to seeing some bigger scores."


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