Heather Knight’s Test Century helps England avoid Follow-On on Day 2 at Manuka Oval

Heather Knight to England’s rescue brings up her second Test century. Heather Knight has single-handedly kept the visitors alive in the Test match. In a scintillating display of batting full of well-timed cover drives and mighty sweep shots, the English captain carried her team through.

 

Heather Knight's Test Century help England avoid Follow-On at Manuka Oval. PC: Getty Images
Heather Knight’s Test Century helps England avoid Follow-On at Manuka Oval. PC: Getty Images

 

Bowling first, the visitors couldn’t take advantage after having Australia stumble at 43/3. The experienced pair of Rachael Haynes and captain Meg Lanning carried Australia out of the slump with a formidable 169-run partnership.

Lanning had luck on her side as she survived a tough chance in the slips early on and then was dropped by Heather Knight when on 14. However, she was denied her first century by a brilliant catch by Heather Knight in the slips of Nat Sciver’s bowling.

Rachael Haynes departed quickly after a brutal delivery from Brunt. Having lost both the set batters in a span of four deliveries the Australian lower middle-order was under pressure. But the in-form Tahlia McGrath and Ashleigh Gardner looked unfazed.

Gardner looked under absolute control when she sent an attempted short-ball by Sciver sailing over the square-leg boundary for a maximum. Unfortunately, she missed out on a big one falling prey to a ball that nipped back in to hit the back pad by Brunt. A decision she reviewed but the review showed three reds which ended her impressive innings.

Tahlia McGrath is making the most of her form. She constructed a well-compiled knock of 52-runs. Australia declared their innings after losing their ninth wicket on 337.

The relentless Katherine Brunt was the star for England with the ball. She picked her five-wicket haul for the innings when Jess Jonassen edged one outside the off-stump into the safe hands of wicket-keeper Amy Jones. Jones too had a good time behind the wickets holding onto five catches in the innings.

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None of the England batters could handle the pressure applied by the Australian bowlers. Darcy Brown and veteran Ellyse Perry got crucial wickets with the new ball. England was reeling at 23/2 when Heather Knight walked in to bat.

Knight was disciplined in her shot selection and looked in absolute control but lacked support from the other end. She along with Sophie Ecclestone stitched together a 65-run unbeaten stand for the ninth wicket. Ecclestone supported her captain when she stepped out to bat with 19 runs still needed to avoid the follow on.

At the end of day two, Australia will look to wrap up things quickly on day three and post a formidable target for England. England on the other hand will work to reduce the lead as much as possible.

Brief scores:

England Women won the toss and chose to field first.

Australia Women 1st Innings: 337/9d (104.1 overs)

Meg Lanning- 93 (170)
Rachael Haynes- 86 (180)
Ashleigh Gardner- 56 (74)

England Women Bowling

Katherine Brunt- 5/60
Natalie Sciver- 3/41

England Women 1st Innings: 235/8 (87 overs)

Heather Knight- 127* (249)
Sophie Ecclestone- 27* (70)

Australia Women Bowling

Ellyse Perry- 2/35
Annabel Sutherland- 2/52.

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