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July 10, 2009
Australia 271 for 7 (Fields 139, Haynes 98, Brunt 5-55) v England
Jodie Fields, Australia's captain, led an outstanding fightback on the opening day of their Test against England with a fine century to help her team recover from a depths of 28 for 5 at New Road. She added a world-record fifth-wicket stand with debutant Rachael Haynes, who fell for 98, after Katherine Brunt wrecked the top order and Australia closed on a far more impressive 271 for 7.
England paid for dropping Fields three times - twice by Caroline Atkins and once by Claire Taylor - before she reached her hundred with a boundary off a Laura Marsh full toss.
The visitors' decision to bat after winning the toss at New Road backfired spectacularly at first. Brunt was immediately among the wickets, drawing an edge to the wicketkeeper from Alex Blackwell, and reduced Australia to 1 for 1. She followed up with a brace of lbws, dismissing Karen Rolton for a duck and Lisa Sthalekar for 6.
Australia were reeling at 19 for 3 before Nicky Shaw picked up her first wicket, knocking over Shelley Nitschke for 15, and Brunt took her fourth victim by bowling Leah Poulton for 1. At 28 for 5, England were firmly on top, like they had been all summer, in the World Twenty20 and the ODIs against Australia.
The innings needed resolute and doughty resistance and it was provided by Fields, who took over the captaincy from Rolton after the World Twenty20, and the debutant Haynes. They defied England's attack for hours and Charlotte Edwards threw the ball to seven bowlers to try and break the partnership.
It was to no avail though, as Fields and Haynes took their alliance steadily past 50, 100 and eventually breached the 200 mark. Fields reached 139 off 254 balls before she became Brunt's fifth wicket, her third lbw, after adding 229 runs for the sixth wicket. Haynes' outstanding debut did not have its perfect ending, unfortunately, as she was bowled by Marsh for 98 at the stroke of stumps.
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