Pearson destroys Australia's batting
England's opening bowler, Lucy Pearson, took a career best seven for 51 in the second women's Ashes Test match in Sydney today.
England inflicted an Australia collapse in the first Ashes Test at The Gabba when Australia were bowled out for 78, their third lowest total ever in Ashes history, and today the home side were dismissed cheaply again reaching just 134.
England captain, Clare Connor, won the toss and elected to field in overcast conditions following a rain delayed start. Pearson struck quickly, dismissing Australia captain, Belinda Clark for 16 and continued to reek havoc on the batters with an exceptional display of disciplined seam bowling.
It was the thirty-one year old English teacher's first five-wicket haul for her country and she admitted, "It was a great day to do it, against Australia in an Ashes Test.
"In the first over, I went for nine runs so it proved that anything short would be hit away. I had to keep the seam up, and bowl a consistent line and length, plus the ball was swinging quite a bit."
Pearson recalls her last tour to Australia, in 2000, when the Southern Stars posted a score of 299 against England and reached 383 in the last Test series at Headingley, and admits, "We've been to hell and now we're back.
"I do think the Australia side under-rate us at times and although they have two or three world class batters, we've consistently proved on this tour that we can bowl them out for under 150 runs, which no other team in world cricket has done for a long time."
Melanie Jones reached 58 before her leg stump was removed from the ground by Pearson in the first over of her second spell, hitting six fours in an elegant innings and assisted by Lisa Sthaelaker in reaching a fourth wicket stand of 65.
England faced 16 overs before the close of play in deteriorating light, with Cathryn Fitzpatrick dismissing opener Sarah Collyer in the first over. Kathryn Leng and Charlotte Edwards had taken England to 21 for one, Leng reaching 12 and Edwards nine.
Opener and leg-spin bowler, Leng is also on a hat-trick at the start of the second Australia innings, taking the final two wickets of Fitzpatrick and Twining.
England will want to build on their performance in the field today with a good batting response, something they were unable to achieve in the first Ashes Test at The Gabba.