|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
February 15, 2008
England 0 for 22 trail Australia 154 (K Blackwell 45, Guha 5-40) by 132 runs
England's defence of the women's Ashes started spectacularly and they had Isa Guha to thank as Australia were dismissed for 154 on the opening day of the only Test. Guha took advantage of a Bowral surface that brought smiles to the bowlers and finished with a career-best collection of 5 for 40 off 18.5 overs.
Guha, playing her seventh Test, immediately supported England's decision to send in Australia, who picked four debutants, when she bowled Alex Blackwell in the second over. The home team was 3 for 46 when Guha, whose spell covered most of the first session, trapped Lisa Sthalekar lbw for 2 after Sarah Taylor, the wicketkeeper, accepted an athletic take to remove the opener Melissa Bulow for 11.
Karen Rolton, the Australia captain, worked hard for 34 but after she was taken by Guha, who had already picked up Shelley Nitschke, Australia were in severe difficulty at 5 for 59. Ellyse Perry, the 17-year-old who became the country's youngest Test player, joined Kate Blackwell in a 50-run stand for the sixth wicket to push the team to three figures. "There weren't any demons in the pitch early," Blackwell said. "We just didn't bat well."
Unfortunately for Australia both Perry (21) and Blackwell, the top scorer with 45, both departed to run outs as England's sharpness in the field matched Guha's. Nicki Shaw chipped in with Sarah Andrews' dismissal, taking 2 for 18 off 19 overs, and Guha returned to finish the innings, earning her maiden five-wicket haul when she captured Kirsten Pike for 10.
"I'm obviously delighted," Guha said. "It's nice to be back in the side and taking wickets for my country. We're well aware that it's only day one and we've got another nine sessions to perform well in."
They had begun without the injured Jenny Gunn but England's day brightened further when the determined pair of Caroline Atkins and Beth Morgan survived 16 overs without losing a wicket. Atkins was unbeaten on 14 while Morgan was 7 from 46 balls as they knocked 22 from the target.
England won the Ashes when they upset Australia in 2005 and can strengthen their grip on the trophy with another strong performance on the second day. "We know Australia are going to come back at us hard over the next few days," the captain Charlotte Edwards said, "but we're up for the challenge."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?