Basketball

Perry seeks greater polish for Australia

Perry seeks greater polish for Australia

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‘So much excitement around this tournament’ – Perry

Allrounder Ellyse Perry has declared Australia’s women need to find the right tempo with the bat in the closing overs of their innings, in order to finish off in the sort of manner that will enable them to lift the World Cup next month.

Batting at No. 3 in the absence of the rested captain Meg Lanning, Perry struck a century in a warm-up win over New Zealand at Southampton on Wednesday, but was concerned by how the lower order fell away when a total of more than 300 looked there for the taking.

“It was really great to put on those partnerships with Bolts [Nicole Bolton] at the start and then Elyse Villani as well,” Perry said. “It was just disappointing for me personally but also the lower order, we just fell off again. We were set up to score over 300 and we didn’t get there. That’s something to work on but it was nice to get that time in the middle.

“In the next couple days it’ll be a real focus for us in training, just making the right decisions on balls to hit and where to score our runs. We don’t have the right tempo at the moment, we’re either going for big shots or defending, I think there needs to be a little more in between where we pick gaps and not letting bowlers settle and putting pressure on ourselves.”

After Megan Schutt pinned Suzie Bates lbw with her very first ball of New Zealand’s reply, three wickets for wristspinner Amanda-Jade Wellington and breakthroughs for Perry helped Australia close out the match. They won by a comfortable 46 runs in a game where both sides could use all 15 members of their squads. Overall, Perry felt that it was a step in the right direction toward the level of polish required in the tournament proper.

“Everyone got a good chance out in the middle, which is probably what we’ve needed after a really good prep back home and not as much official games,” Perry said. “A bit of rust, but that’s ok, we’ve got a bit of time before the first proper match.

“There were lots of positives with both bat and ball but probably just lacking that polish, probably bowled too many four-balls, and a few loose shots and not really finishing our innings off, which was quite disappointing, but they’re solid opposition and it was good to play some good cricket in patches.”

The Australians have a morning gym session on Thursday followed by an afternoon off, ahead of another internal practice match on Friday. They have further practice matches against South Africa and Pakistan before a tournament opener against the West Indies at Taunton on June 26.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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