‘Free rein’: 28 runs in five balls for Aussie star

Alana King starred with the bat. Picture: Munir Uz Zaman / AFP
Alana King starred with the bat. Picture: Munir Uz Zaman / AFP

Given “free rein” with the bat, Australian spin star Alan King took her turn to make some big noise, swatting 28 runs, including four sixes, from the final over in a monster ODI win over Bangladesh.

Australian captain Alyssa Healy was worried about the levels of “battery power” among her team ahead of the historic first ODI between the two nations in Bangladesh, with a bulk of them having rushed from a hectic Women’s Premier League.

But swashbuckling spinner King showed how full of energy she was, smashing 46 off just 31 balls in a match-saving 67-run eighth-wicket partnership with all-round star Annabel Sutherland before the Aussies routed the home team for just 95 in the monstrous win at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.

Sent in first, the Australians were reeling at 6-112 after top-order failures as the low, slow conditions provided an insight into what they will be facing in the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in September and October.

Sutherland and King then put on their rescue mission, and King’s mammoth last over effort propelled the Aussies to 7-213.

It was the first time Australia had played an ODI in Bangladesh.

“It was just a bit of fun in the last over. We were looking at getting over 200 and Annabel gave me free rein,” King said.

“We could go for as many runs as possible and I am glad I connected with a few.”

Bangladesh v Australia - Women's ODI Series: Game 1
Alana King and Annabel Sutherland saved the Aussies with a matchwinning partnership. Picture: Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images

Sutherland again stamped her authority on the match with a team-high 58 – her third score above fifty in ODIs – having come in at 5-78 and earnt full praise from King.

“‘Belsy’ (Sutherland) has shown a lot of maturity over the last 12 months in her batting and I think she’s just going from strength to strength,” King said.

“The more times she’s out there batting for Australia, I think that’s when she’s learning a lot.

“She knows her role on the team and she’s playing it beautifully, and it’s great to see her grind out a pretty tough innings and then get a really solid 50 at the end of the game.”

The second game of the three-match series is on Sunday.