Result – Match drawn (Both teams get two points each), Australia Women retain the Ashes Cup
Australia (1st innings) – 420/8d (154.4 overs, Run Rate 2.71)
England (1st innings) – 275/9d (107.1 overs, Run Rate 2.56)
Natalie Sciver – 88 (180) (4s-9)
Amy Jones – 64 (140) (4s-12)
Australia bowling figures –
Sophie Molineux – 37-6-95-4
Jess Jonassen – 21.1-5-50-2
Australia (2nd innings) – 230/7 (64 overs, Run Rate 3.59)
Ellyse Perry – 76* (144) (4s-9)
Sophie Molineux – 41 (55) (4s-7)
England bowling figures –
Heather Knight – 8-0-25-2
Laura Marsh – 13-2-42-2
Kirstie Gordon – 10-1-50-2
Major Partnership – 3rd wicket partnership of 52runs (15.5overs) between Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry
5th wicket partnership of 63runs (17.4overs) between Ellyse Perry and Jess Jonassen
6th wicket partnership of 53runs (13.1overs) between Ellyse Perry and Sophie Molineux
Player of the Match – Ellyse Perry (116, 76* and one wicket)
Debutants – Australia – Sophie Molineux, Ashleigh Gardner and Tayla Vlaeminck
England – Amy Jones and Kirstie Gordon
Meg Lanning took new bowl on the morning of Day 4. Australia’s vice-captain Alyssa Healy stumped out Anya Shrubsole in the fifth over of the last day with England needing another 61 runs to avoid follow-on. The big moment came in 102nd over when Natalie Sciver was bowled out by Jess Jonassen making it big harder for England with eight wickets down and 19 runs still required to avoid forced follow-on. But Laura Marsh and Sophie Eccelstone held their nerves as the former hit a four on the third ball of 107th over to save the follow-on. Heather Knight signaled to declare the England’s 1st innings as soon as Marsh was given LBW out in the following over.
With 145runs lead, Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes opened up in Australia’s 2nd innings. Spinner Sophie Eccelstone bowled very tight and created a couple of chances by disturbing Healy in the very first over. At lunch, Australia Women were 13/0 after five overs extending the lead to 158 runs.
Laura Marsh struck twice in her first over and removed both the openers in a space of five balls giving a big boost to England’s hope of pulling out a win from thereon. But Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry had other plans and successfully build a formidable partnership for third wicket as Australia reached 55/2 by the end of 20th over.
Finding a breakthrough, English skipper brought in young Girstie Gordon into attack and the debutant got Lanning caught out by Geogia Elwiss at covers. Trying to hit a full-toss for a boundary, the Aussies skipper could not time it well and gave a straight catch to the covers fielder. Beth Mooney joined Perry at number 5 and played some classic shots before getting out in 33rd over as Tammy Beaumont took a stunning catch at short leg to send the batter back to the pavilion.
Batting at 47, Perry took a sharp second run on the first ball of 38th over sending the on-field umpires upstairs to check for a run-out but TV replays showed that she was just in when Sarah Taylor whipped off the bails. Three balls later, an easy boundary brought up another fifty for the mighty batter. It was just third time a bats(wo)man scored a 100 and a 50 in a Test. With wickets falling at regular intervals on the other end, Perry stood tall and went on to test the patience of bowlers and heading towards another hundred.
England’s wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor hurt her shoulder in 43rd over and went off field four overs later in order to avoid any further blow. With an extended lead of 210 runs by the end of 48th over, Australia showed no signs of declaration depicting their intent of retaining the Ashes rather than trying to win the Test.
In a change of bowling, England’s captain Heather Knight came on to bowl for first time in the Test and struck with her golden arm in the very first over to end the innings of Jess Jonassen in 50th over. After having a splendid run with the ball, debutant Sophie Molineux came out to bat and did another fifty run partnership with Perry only to get bowled out by Gordon in 63rd over. Ashleigh Gardner came in at number 7 and hit the first six of the match on the last ball of the same over.
With the match heading towards the dead end, handshakes were decided after 64th over. Knight took her second wicket on the last ball of the match as English players were disappointed a bit for not being able to pull it over even after showing quite a positive intent in Australia’s 2nd innings. With the draw, Australia Women have retained the Ashes Cup even if there is white-wash in T20 series in England’s favour.
That’s all from the sole Ashes Test… Stay tuned for latest updates on Twitter handle of Femalecricket.
‘Gully’ cricket player and close observer of Indian Cricket team and it’s matches. Straight forward and still socially admirable personality. Strong belief in teamwork and possess high leadership skills.