Meg Lanning is the master of the chase. Early in the tournament, her average was 80 in successful chases, and there have been more than a few of them for Australia. So, coming in to bat at No. 4 with the score 72 for 2 in 18.1 overs in chase of England’s 259 for 6 at the County Ground in Bristol, on Sunday, Australia was still firmly in the game.
A chronic shoulder injury had kept Lanning out of her side’s previous game, and she looked in some discomfort while fielding. Yet, she had imposed herself in the chase yet again, motoring to 40 in just 45 balls, smashing five fours along the way.
It was then that Alex Hartley, the 23-year-old left-arm spinner, came on to change the course of events.
When she was back for her second spell of the day in the 32nd over of the Australian innings, Lanning strode forwards out of the crease to attack the fourth ball of the over. But it was a tossed up delivery, Lanning went too far, completely missed, and had her stumps castled.
It was a big wicket – Hartley was enveloped by her captain Heather Knight in the longest hug and lifted off the ground in celebration. It gave the team belief and England carried that confidence through the innings.