February 24, 2003

Pearson record not enough to prevent Australia fight back

Lucy Pearson, England's opening bowler, today became the first Englishwoman to take ten wickets in an Ashes Test Match throughout it's 69 year history; but it was not enough to prevent Australia reaching 163-4 and a lead of 110 runs.

Pearson said "it's amazing to be the first Englishwoman to take ten wickets, especially in a match that forms The Ashes Series. You dream of taking ten wickets in a game. The great thing is, I have a good opportunity to take more tomorrow and that's fantastic".

In the first session of play, England added a further thirty-six runs to their overnight total, finishing their first innings on 187 in reply to Australia's 134. Emma Twining dismissed England's final batters this morning to match Julie Hayes's figures of 3-32.

The lead of 53 runs looked all the more substantial as Pearson trapped Kris Britt lbw in the ninth over for just 3. Six overs later she dismissed the Australia Captain, Belinda Clark, who was caught at mid-wicket attempting to pull for 16.

Laura Newton removed the dangerous Karen Rolton for 15 and Pearson then deceived Melanie Jones who nicked a quick delivery through to Claire Taylor, England's wicket-keeper.

At 49-4, Australia were still 3 runs behind England but diligent batting from Lisa Sthaelaker, who has relinquished her openers position, together with newcomer Alex Blackwell, saw the pair remain unbeaten for the fifth wicket at stumps.

Sthaelakar recorded the highest individual score of the Ashes Series so far, finishing on 65 not out, and Blackwell 51 not out. England's bowlers frustrated the pair following the tea interval, with Sarah Collyer again the tourists most economical bowler, and restricted the scoring rate to little over one an hour, Blackwell staying on 20 for eleven overs.

But the breakthrough didn't arrive, despite Pearson taking the new ball with thirteen overs of play remaining.

With one day of the Ashes remaining, the initiative is now back with the home team.