Cricket Australia (CA) have announced the women's squads for the upcoming T20I and ODI series against Sri Lanka on Wednesday. The two sides will contest three T20Is in Sydney and three ODIs in Brisbane, with ICC Women's Championship, points up for grabs in the three 50-over fixtures.
Australia holds the top spot on the ladder, two wins ahead of England having played three less matches than the World Cup champions. At the end of the Championship, the top four teams will gain direct qualification to the ICC Women's World Cup 2021 in New Zealand.
Speaking on the selection of the squad, national selector Shawn Flegler said: "The selectors have elected to stick with the same group of players that completed a 6-0 tour whitewash against the West Indies recently with Erin Burns the unlucky player to miss out on the ODI squad. With the T20 World Cup just under five months away it's crucial to find some consistency in the T20 squad, and we feel like we have that which is pleasing," he added.
Selectors have also named a CA XI that will take on Sri Lanka in a T20 match at Hurstville Oval on September 27. South Australia all-rounder Tahlia McGrath will captain the side, with Western Australia's Heather Graham her deputy, while Leah Poulton will coach the side.
Australia will play against Sri Lanka in the first T20I at North Sydney Oval on September 29.
T20I squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Heather Graham, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck, and Georgia Wareham.
ODI squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Heather Graham, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck, and Georgia Wareham.
Cricket Australia XI: Tahlia McGrath (c), Heather Graham (vc), Darcie Brown, Stella Campbell, Hannah Darlington, Josie Dooley, Nicole Faltum, Charli Knott, Phoebe Litchfield, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Annabel Sutherland, and Tahlia Wilson.
Somerset hanging on grimly to title dream
Somerset retained their slim chances of winning the EnglishCounty Championship for the first time as a last-wicket stand of 59 between Roelof van der Merwe and Jack Leach frustrated Essex at Taunton on Tuesday.
With Essex top and Somerset having to win the final match of the domestic season to overhaul them, it looked grim when they stumbled to 144-9 on day two of four.
But van der Merwe (60) and Leach (11 not out) gave them a total that kept them in the hunt, especially on a pitch offering help to seam and spin. Essex closed the day on 25-0 after rain curtailed play at tea.
Essex only need to avoid losing 20 wickets in the remaining two days to take the title.
Somerset began the day on 75-4 but wickets tumbled either side of lunch with spinner Simon Harmer (5-105) and seamer Sam Cook (4-26) tormenting the home batsmen.
Van der Merwe, eventually out attempting to reverse sweep spinner Aaron Nijjar, said a 200-plus score gave them a chance.
"We knew that anything around 200 would be a good score and it was my day," he said.
"We just have to be patient in the way we go about things, not worry too much about the scoreboard and land the ball in good areas."