England v Australia, Only Women's Test, Wormsley, 2nd day August 12, 2013

Knight battles to keep England afloat

ESPNcricinfo staff

England 172 for 6 (Knight 85*, Osborne 3-31) trail Australia 331 for 6 dec (Elliott 104, Blackwell 54, Cameron 50) by 159 runs

Australia took firm control of the Ashes Test, reducing England to 172 for 6 on the second day, but Heather Knight kept the home side fighting and on track to avoid the follow-on after the middle order had been removed by Erin Osborne and the 17-year-old Holly Ferling.

Australia had made an bold declaration shortly before lunch on 331 for 6 - there is an incentive to win the Test with six points on offer in the new-style multi-format Ashes concept - after Sarah Elliott had reached a maiden Test hundred having been unbeaten on 95 overnight while Alex Blackwell contributed 54.

Ellyse Perry clubbed 31 off 24 balls and then struck an early blow when Arran Brindle was lbw in the ninth over. However, England formed themselves a decent platform as Knight and Sarah Taylor came together, but Taylor's dismissal for a sparkly 33 prompted a collapse.

Taylor became a maiden Test wicket for Ferling, who then claimed the key scalp of Charlotte Edwards lbw although the England captain was far from impressed with the decision. Substantial damage was then caused by offspinner Osborne as she claimed three wickets in the space of four overs to leave England tottering on 113 for 6.

England, though, resisted stoutly through the remainder of the day as Knight and Laura Marsh compiled a 36-over partnership worth 59. Knight hit 10 boundaries in her 225-ball innings while Marsh blocked through 114 deliveries to remain unbeaten on 13.

"It's a pretty good pitch out there and with Laura we managed to put together a partnership," Knight said. "Our team bats really low down the order so hopefully we can go out tomorrow, score a few more runs and then come hard at them with the ball.

"I decided to concentrate on what I was doing at my end and not worrying too much about the wickets we were losing other end. I feel good about my cricket at the moment. Whatever I'm doing is working so it's just about carrying that on. I think it's going really well.

"However we still need 10 more to avoid follow-on so that is our first objective and then there's the new ball in six overs so hopefully that will bring a few more runs."

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  • colin on August 13, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    Laura Marsh...............the female Alistair Cook.........grind em down

  • Izmi on August 13, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    I reckon some of these aussie women cricketers could easily walk into the mens cricket team which could boost the quality of the Australian cricket team enormously. Hope they are paid more than the men for their excellent performance in world cricket. Hope the ICC will give the green light to this proposal. After all they are even better than the aussie men's team and are the world champions. It would be discriminatory not to make use of the best talent in the country.

  • Ohhhh on August 12, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    Few other players could have used this as a warm-up match too. The likes of Tremlett, Rankin and Finn would have benefited from an International fixture about now, to press their claims.

  • Harry on August 12, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    In light of the recent farce that is 'Australian men's cricket', how about coverage of the women's cricket gets an extended run on the front page? I doubt there would be many objections from the Australian camp, myself included.

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