“Are you going to have nightmares…”
In fairness, Lanning, Australia’s captain, was as good-natured as anyone could possibly be about the situation, burying his face right there in the slips at Edgbaston Turf, where if you gave him 99 equal chances, he would. Winning him in the background, the journalists later questioned Raja about the incident a few meters away and then spoke to the same journalists who knew very well what was coming.
“I’ll have nightmares,” Lanning said. “I wanted to dig a hole and jump into it as fast as I could. I tried my best and I dropped it.”
What softened the blow was the fact that Australia had a leg up in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games, at which time Barbados scored 53 for 8. Barbados could only manage 64 runs before being dismissed. Australia then chased down Lanning’s unbeaten 21-ball 36 with 71 balls to spare and made it to the knockout stages with a group game.
Asked if her innings was a reaction to her missteps on the field, Lanning said: “I wasn’t too happy, let’s say it like that. I was just disappointed for King. She’s bowling so well. And it was disappointing him. He was not ideal. But that is cricket, I think.
“I was really looking forward to contributing. I was just bouncing on some loose balls when I got them and gave myself a chance and felt like I was capable of doing that.”
Deandra Dottin conceded 25 runs in her first over, the last of the Powerplay, all as Lanning and Australia extra, through their captain, after a cautious start on a slow, hybrid pitch to hold their sixth match in three days. Intensified. From that point on, Alyssa Healy also joined the fray, scoring an unbeaten 23 from four off 14 balls as Australia eased their way to victory.
For his part, the king was understanding.
“That’s cricket, isn’t it? Nobody’s meant to drop the ball or anything,” King said. “It’s just the way the game goes, but I’m just happy that I can contribute in any way I can.
“Every ball I bowl, I’m trying to get a wicket so that it doesn’t fall apart but he caught the outside edge and yes, it’s just cricket, I guess. But the way I played today I Am really happy.
“I thought there was definitely a little more bite in the wicket today. It’s the sixth game on him so it’s a little tired, a little slow, which works a little bit in our hand.”
King entered the attack in the eighth over when Lanning won the toss and sent in Barbados, which saw skipper Hayley Matthews make his top score at 18.
King, with her second ball, brushed along the middle stump outside Dottin’s front pad as she bent down to tuck the ball over fine leg, which she faced 22 balls for eight runs.
Tahlia McGrath claimed the first of her three wickets after she caught Kishina Knight in deep backward square by Megan Schutt and Ashley Gardner bowled a hard spell, which included a double to remove Kishona Knight and Trishnan Holder. The wicket maiden was also involved, King came back in action. ,
At the end of his second over, King dismissed Aaliyah Allene with a delivery that hit the back leg stump. Then, on the third ball of his third over, King lbw Shakira Selman and then hit Shamilia Connell to the back leg on the next ball. Kyla Elliott’s edge somehow slipped through Lanning’s hands at first slip, which was the stuff of nightmares. Luckily for Australia all was well during the night.
Valkerie Baynes is the General Editor at ESPNcricinfo