Mooney unlikely for second women’s Ashes ODI after suffering stiff quadriceps

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Australian woman cricketer Beth Mooney is unlikely to play the second Ashes One-day International on Sunday after she left the field in the opening ODI at Canberra on February 3 with a stiff quadriceps.

Mooney is Australia’s star batter in the team’s campaign in the ICC women’s cricket World Cup in New Zealand and had scored a 91-ball 73, embellished with eight fours and a six, in the first ODI which the hosts won by 27 runs to retain the women’s Ashes at Manuka Oval.

Mooney, who had suffered a broken jaw during training and had returned for the Ashes Test within 10 days of undergoing surgery, did not join the team’s training session at Junction Oval on Saturday.

With the ODI World Cup coming up in March, and the players set to enter a 10-day hard quarantine phase on February 10, it’s unlikely the team management will take a risk with the left-hander, who had three metal plates inserted in her jaw during the surgery.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if our staff took a little bit of a conservative approach with Moons just given how crucial she is to our line-up,” Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Saturday.

“I don’t think they’ve selected the team yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was rested just to make sure she’s raring to go with what’s ahead.”

If Mooney sits out on Sunday, it will open the door for either Annabel Sutherland or Nicola Carey to come into the side, while Tahlia McGrath would likely be elevated to Mooney’s spot at No.5, according to the report.

Haynes said that despite retaining the Ashes, the batting group were determined to put on a strong showing in the second ODI. “We haven’t quite hit our straps consistently across this series, so it’s about just trying to find those little areas for improvement,” Haynes said.

“With the bat, we’ve got some room to improve — even though the conditions in Canberra were tricky the other night, usually at the Junction it’s a bit more of a flatter surface and I think our batters are pretty keen to make a big statement. “I think my first innings in the Test was a solid contribution but I’m definitely looking to finish really strongly here. There’s lots to play for… from my point of view, I’ll be looking to bat for as long as I can, and hopefully be in the runs,” added Haynes.

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