SLOW AND STEADY: England bowler Jenny Gunn sends one down during the One Day International against Australia in Coffs Harbour.
SLOW AND STEADY: England bowler Jenny Gunn sends one down during the One Day International against Australia in Coffs Harbour. Brad Greenshields

Gunn delivering with only a 'whiff' of pace

IT'S the slow delivery from a player listed as a medium pacer that is causing the Australians all sorts of trouble.

'The whiff', as Jenny Gunn's England teammates call it, was seen during the recent World Cup and its appearance throughout the Ashes' opening one day matches has managed to trap the Aussies.

It's a super slow ball, sometimes clocked at below 70 kilometres an hour, that captain Heather Knight describes as "probably the most effective ball I've seen in world cricket."

The whiff comes in so slow that opposing batters find it difficult to hit with any power.

It was a handy weapon during England's run toward its World Cup victory and it proved useful in England's win during the third ODI on Sunday that saved the visitors from an early Ashes demise.

Having set an imposing target of 285 in that match, and with Australia tracking well at the start of the second innings, it was Gunn's whiff that helped slow the Aussie run rate and increase their desperation for boundaries.

And, it claimed Australia number six Alex Blackwell, who was caught on 37 after she skied an attempted pull shot to the deep off the delivery and picked out the safe hands of Natalie Sciver.

The wicketkeeper said after the third One Day International that overcoming the effectiveness of the whiff is something her team simply has to do.

Despite all that, Knight said Gunn would prefer to use other methods when she's bowling.

"She (Gunn) doesn't like saying she's made a career out of it but she has, she's been brilliant," the captain said.

"She hates bowling it but it's the most effective ball on big boundaries, and as the wicket got slightly slower towards the end."

Australia's Alyssa Healy has enjoyed facing the new ball this series where there's plenty of pace for her to use, unlike her teammates lower down the order.

"For us, especially heading in to the T20s at the back end of the series it's going to be important for us to look at that and look at ways that we're going to be able to score and combat that," Healy said.

"Jenny Gunn has done that pretty successfully in the last 12-18 months.

"We'll just sit back, watch a bit of footage and work out a plan as to how we can combat that and still score quite freely."



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