Gunn and Morgan defy Australia
England 116 for 5 (Gunn 34*, Morgan 23*) trail Australia 309 (Fields 139, Haynes 98, Brunt 5-55) by 193 runs
Australia's remarkable turnaround in this match was briefly halted by Beth Morgan and Jenny Gunn, as England's sixth-wicket pairing at last dug deep for the home side, putting on a stabilising stand of 57 on the second day of the Test at Worcester.
Australia were only able to add a further 38 to their overnight score, as they were dismissed for 309, with Rachael Haynes falling two runs short of a hundred. Katherine Brunt registered career-best figures of 6 for 69, but for Australia to reach a total in excess of 300 was nothing short of a triumph after their calamitous start yesterday, when they fell to 28 for 5. Their bowlers soon took revenge, too.
Caroline Atkins was first to depart, trapped in front by Rene Farrell. Lydia Greenway survived a confident lbw shout before she chipped the same bowler tamely to mid-on for just 5. England were 11 for 2, but their situation went from bad to worse when Claire Taylor, who was earlier caught off a no-ball, fell to Lauren Ebsary and her captain, Charlotte Edwards, joined her when she was bowled by a scudding delivery from Ellyse Perry that knocked out her off stump.
Taylor the young - Sarah, the wicketkeeper - briefly fought back, square cutting with class, but she became the fifth wicket to fall when she was trapped in front by Perry - perhaps a little unluckily, as the ball appeared to be drifting down the leg side - as Australia reduced England to 59 for 5. Like Australia, however, England's sixth-wicket pair resisted further capitulation with a fighting partnership. Though not filled with attractive strokeplay - Morgan's unbeaten 23 was spread over 123 balls in two hours of grit - both players did stroke four fours apiece and, more importantly, they remain intact going into the third day.
England will desperately hope Morgan and Gunn can produce a similar sort of fightback that Australia's sixth-wicket pair, Jodie Fields and Haynes, did yesterday when they put on 229. This pair have an awful lot to do, trailing by 193.