Aussie superheroes skittle England
WHAT'S better than one superhero?
Two of course.
Which is exactly what the Southern Stars have in Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry.
Australia was experiencing a little wobble at 3-35 until Perry joined Lanning for an unbeaten 87-run partnership to claim victory in the second Ashes T20 international.
While Lanning's T20 World record of 133 not out was all muscle and force, her knock today at County Ground, Hove was calculated grit.
The seven wicket win came with 2.1 overs to spare, Perry finishing on 47 not out and Lanning on 43 not out.
But England had its chance with Lanning.
If only stand-in keeper Amy Jones had the forethought to backhand the ball at the stumps a-la Alyssa Healy.
Instead, Lanning survived a run-out scare without having faced a ball.
It would have been a diamond duck but Lanning's full body dive, Kate Cross's wide throw and Jones's reach for the stumps were enough to save the Aussie skipper.
At that stage Austalia was 1/23.
At first it seemed far fetched when England coach Mark Robinson said Australia was just a side that were gifted "God given physical attributes".
Perhaps he was right and this dominance was delivered on divine intervention.
Perhaps he was wrong and it was the years of training, preparation and strong domestic competition.
Either way, Australia continued its summer of dominance with Ellyse Perry becoming the first player, male or female, to reach 1000 runs and 100 wickets in T20 internationals.
"I guess it's lovely, but I wasn't aware of it," Perry said.
"I actually think in T20 cricket at international level, we probably play it as much as the men, so I have played a pretty big volume of games now - over 100, so I suppose when you have played 100 games you might get close to it.
"That's probably the only reason I'm there - because I've played a lot of games.
"It has just been really nice to turn up every game and for us to perform and to find a way to win and win dominantly.
"It was really cool to be out there with Meg. I really enjoy batting with her and she's incredible when she's going. To be at the other end is quite easy really."
Here's how the game unfolded:
IN A SNAPSHOT:
England won the toss and perhaps fearing another Meg Lanning masterclass, and the game being over in six overs, decide to bat. On the back of Tammy Beaumont, they bat through the 20 overs finishing 8-121.
A six in the final over from Sophie Ecclestone sets Australia a run rate of 6.10.
After a shaky start, Lanning and Perry to put together a chanceless partnership of 87 to guide Australia to victory.
Australia's Ellyse Perry, opening the bowling, bewitched Amy Jones for the fourth time this series. With zero footwork, Jones spooned a catch to Georgia Wareham at cover point and England was 1/1 after the first over.
Lanning and Perry. Ridiculously talented, ridiculously smart, ridiculously patient. The composed pair happily waited for the bad ball, which inevitably would come, and easily ticked off the run a ball needed.
A six in the 15th over from Perry saw Australia needing 18 off 28 and it was all over bar a Pimm's to celebrate.
*Jess Jonassen's wicket in her first over, getting rid of Danni Wyatt, was due to the hot hands of Beth Mooney. Mooney running back with flight of the ball judged the catch perfectly. But ouch - this is where we don't mention her dropping Tammy Beaumont when Beaumont was on 35. But we do have to mention Mooney dropping Beaumont again on 39. Both chances were not as difficult as the one she held.
Jonassen takes matters into her own hands and bowls Beaumont for 43 in the 12th over.
* Warm up? What warm up! Georgia Wareham snared the dangerous Nat Sciver first ball. The England all rounder went across her stumps to glance the ball down fine leg but completely missed the ball.
The leggie then backs this up by snaring England captain Heather Knight. Easy as you like, Wareham takes a gentle return catch after Knight came at her down the pitch.
That player again - Perry.
Perry is the first player, either male or female, to complete the double of 100 wickets and 1000
STATE OF PLAY
The post-mortem has already begun for England - records have fallen all series and all in favour of the Australians. England's domestic structure is being questioned while Australia's lauded.
In comparison, The Southern Stars have set themselves up for a dynasty. Headlined by superstars Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry, and with the likes of Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham coming through it's hard to see other nations catching them.
3rd T20 International at Bristol on July 31.
More green and gold dominance. Can't see where England will find any improvement.
Australia to go through the series undefeated.