Captain Meg Lanning dedicates herself to chasing perfection, and her world record unbeaten 133 in Australia’s 93-run Ashes victory at Chelmsford may be the closest anyone has got to perfection in women’s Twenty20 cricket.
Playing at Essex’s County Ground, where England were on a 14-win run, Lanning topped her previous best score of 126 achieved against Ireland in Bangladesh in 2014, off 63 balls with 17 fours and seven sixes.
In response, England could only equal Lanning’s score leaving them way adrift of Australia’s 3-226, a total eclipsing their previous best of 209 against the same opposition in Mumbai in 2018.
“I hit the ball today as well as I have for a long time,” Lanning said.
“We strive for perfection, we don’t get there, but we want to get as close as we can.
“There’s that real drive.”
Despite hitting two fifties in her five knocks on tour until this point, Lanning was desperate to contribute in a meaningful way.
“I have high expectations and want to contribute all the time,” Lanning said.
I was getting starts and just getting out all the time and that was annoying me a fair bit.
“Some days you’re on and you’ve got to make the most of it.”
The Aussie skipper middled the ball from the off, brutally cutting it behind square when the English bowlers dropped short outside off stump, and smashing through the covers or over the top.
After Alyssa Healy (four) fell in the first over, the Aussie skipper put on 134 with Beth Mooney (54 off 33 balls) in 11.4 overs.
Ash Gardner chipped in with 27 off 14 balls and later precipitated England’s calamitous early response, which saw them at 4-22, by taking a brilliant catch in the first over to dismiss Danni Wyatt (0).
This effort was particularly striking given England had gifted Australia at least half a dozen boundaries during their innings.
Amy Jones soon followed, also without scoring, before Tammy Beaumont edged behind, and when skipper Heather Knight (three) was run out when Healy took off the bails beating her despairing dive, the game was over.
The victory leaves Australia with ten points from the series so far, with two games and four points remaining, while England have just two from the drawn Test.