Australia has wrapped up its ODI series against Pakistan without breaking a sweat as Phoebe Litchfield continued her hot start to international cricket with a second half-century in as many matches.
Litchfield doesn’t have an average after two games but she’s already amassed 145 runs after hitting an unbeaten 67 on Wednesday afternoon to back up her sparkling 78 not out on debut in the series opener.
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In doing so, she became the first Australian woman to start her ODI career with back-to-back 50s, with Ian Chappell and Dave Hussey the only men to achieve the feat.
The 19-year-old is in the side because of Alyssa Healy’s calf injury, and while the wicketkeeper is an automatic selection when she’s fit, it will be hard to not find a place for Litchfield in the team going forward.
She may have to bide her time as others have done in the past, but selectors will be chuffed knowing she has the skills and the temperament to handle world-class attacks.
“You just know when you’re seeing a talent on show, and she is that,” Isa Guha said in commentary after Litchfield lofted another boundary down the ground.
Litchfield (67 off 61) hit the winning runs as she and Beth Mooney (57 off 55) guided the Aussies to a comfortable 10-wicket win with more than 30 overs to spare after the bowlers had rolled Pakistan for just 125.
There were no wickets for Kim Garth on Wednesday, but she was involved in a bizarre moment that will make her Australian ODI debut one she never forgets.
Garth made her 50-over debut for Ireland back in 2010 but made the switch to Australia in last year’s T20 tour of India.
Her meteoric rise continued in Brisbane where she opened the bowling, finishing with figures of 0-13 from her eight overs, including four maidens, as she regularly beat the bat with her away swing.
Garth didn’t get the wicket she wanted, but she did produce the most important play in the first innings to dismiss the dangerous Nida Dar, who failed to back up her half-century from the first game.
Dar was at the non-striker’s end when a Sidra Nawaz drive was deflected onto the stumps by Garth, with the Pakistani star well short of her crease.
“It’s a horrible way to go. It’s probably the worst way to go as a batter,” Guha said.
Garth’s opening partner Darcie Brown (3-32) was the pick of the bowlers, while Annabel Sutherland and Alana King also chipped in with two wickets apiece against a Pakistani side that offered next to nothing with the bat.