Day 1 Report : Women’s Ashes Test at Taunton

TossAustralia Women won the toss and elected to bat first

Brief Scorecard – Day 1 at stumps:

Australia (1st innings) – 265/3 (100 overs, Run Rate 2.65)

Ellyse Perry – 84* (205) (4s-12)

Rachael Haynes – 54* (160) (4s-8)

England bowling figures –

Katherine Brunt – 14-4-30-1*

Sophie Eccelstone – 25.2-7-64-1*

Kirstie Gordon – 19.4-5-53-1*

Debutants – Australia – Sophie Molineux, Ashleigh Gardner and Tayla Vlaeminck

EnglandAmy Jones and Kirstie Gordon

Pre-match Ashes position – Having lost all the three ODIs, English team now needs to win the only Test to keep their Ashes hopes alive while Australia Women just need a draw to retain the Ashes cup.

Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole opened up bowling for England as Australia’s vice-captain and opener Alyssa Healy struck a crackling four to open her account on the last ball of 2nd over. With an aggressive approach right from the beginning, Healy slammed three boundaries in first three overs of Shrubsole.

Brunt got her team first breakthrough by getting Nicole Bolton bowled out with a perfect line and length bowl. But Healy, on the other end, kept on targeting the bowler by hitting six boundaries by the end of 10th over. Spin attack was introduced in the 12th over and the very first ball of Sophie Eccelstone showed up big turn beating the set batter, Healy. But the bowler seemed to have hurt her right shoulder in 15th over while fielding and had to leave the field mid-way 16th over as debutant Kirstie Gordon was called on to complete the former’s over.

Meanwhile, Alyssa Healy smashed a four on the first ball of 20th over to reach her maiden Test fifty in just 61 balls as Australia’s scoreboard read 81/1 after 20 overs. Gordon was visibly getting huge spin and was successfully beating Meg Lanning, quite a number of times mounting pressure on the Aussies’ skipper. The bowler bore the fruit of her brilliant bowling spell by getting Alyssa Healy bowled out in a wicket maiden. A dream start for the youngster as she looked in shock after taking such a massive wicket on her Test debut.

Eccelstone was back into the game in 23rd over. England’s captain Heather Knight gave another life to her counterpart by dropping her right before the lunch in 28th over. By the end of first session, Australia were formidably placed at 106/2 with England needing to put up a brave fight and comeback soon after the lunch.

Australian batters changed the gears post-lunch and were looking more defensive now with a clear aim of settling down well without giving away any other wicket as the team reached 150 run mark right before the drinks in 50th over. Also, Meg Lanning reached her first Test fifty on the last ball of 50th over after getting a couple of lifelines and a few unsuccessful L.B.W. appeals.

Finally, Eccelstone got better off Lanning in 54th over by bowling a quicker one and the batter misjudged the pace and got bowled over. Rachael Haynes joined Perry in the middle at number 5 and started building up a solid partnership from thereon. Meanwhile, Perry reached her half-century in 66th over evidently looking to convert this one into another memorable innings as Australia got past of 200-run mark in the same over.

New ball came in at 82nd over but that could not help England as the batters were well settled and playing at will with Perry becoming the seventh woman and the first since 1986 to achieve the Test career double of 500+ runs and 25+ wickets. More worries added up  for the English team as opener Tammy Beaumont went for an X-ray mid-way the game after being hit on the hand at short leg.

The Southern Stars reached 250-run mark in 92nd over and owing to a poor throw, England missed a run-out chance in the following over. Australia wrapped up the day adding fifteen runs more in the last seven overs.

That’s all for now… See you tomorrow with Day 2 report… Stay tuned to latest updates on Twitter handle of Female Cricket.

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