England v Australia, 2nd women's Test, Worcester, 2nd day August 25, 2005

England grind out a crucial lead

Cricinfo staff

England 222 for 9 (Liddell 4-45) lead Australia 131 (Brunt 5-47) by 91 runs

Test-best figures for Katherine Brunt © Getty Images
England ground out a first-innings lead over Australia on the second day of the second Test at Worcester, but it was an affair for the diehards. In 101 overs, they reached 222 for 9 at the close, a lead of 91.

Australia's tail had wagged to great affect in the first Test at Hove, but it succumbed with barely a whimper in the opening overs today as their last three wicket added only five runs to their overnight 126 for 7. In 15 balls Katherine Brunt took all three wickets, giving her a Test-best 5 for 47.

England's innings was solid but never remotely spectacular, with the run rate struggling to stay above two an over for most of the day. Jenny Gunn (38) Clare Connor (37) and Claire Taylor (43) all played themselves in without ever accelerating, but in the context of the match it was important for England to build a lead, and they had the luxury of having the time to do so.

Cathryn Fitzpatrick led the attack with typical fire, taking 3 for 76, while Emma Liddell took crucial late wickets, finishing with 4 for 45.