Australia v England, Only women's Test, Perth, 2nd day

Perry stars as Australia hit back

Raf Nicholson at the WACA

January 11, 2014

Comments: 6 | Text size: A | A

England 201 and 3 for 18 (Farrell 2-5) lead Australia 207 (Perry 71, Shrubsole 4-51) by 12 runs
Scorecard


Heather Knight was bowled by Rene Farrell's first ball, Australia v England, Only women's Test, Perth, 2nd day, January 11, 2013
Heather Knight was bowled by Rene Farrell as England's second innings got off to a terrible start © Getty Images
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A late evening collapse by England's top-order left Australia jubilant and rounded off an excellent fightback, after they had been reduced to 5 for 37 on the second morning. Although England had edged back in front after conceding a first-innings deficit, they were three down at stumps.

Rene Farrell added to her first-innings 4 for 43 by dismissing both of England's openers: Heather Knight for 1, with a quicker delivery that broke through her defence to hit off stump, and Sarah Taylor, caught at first slip for a duck, attempting to cut a wide ball. In between, Ellyse Perry had Lydia Greenway trapped lbw for 5.

For Perry, it was the end to a day in which she confirmed her status as a true allrounder, achieving her highest score in all international cricket and frustrating England's bowlers in the process. She shared a vital partnership with Jodie Fields, as the two steadied Australia before lunch. Their 55-run partnership was ended when Test debutant Kathryn Cross, whose 3 for 35 in 18 overs included 10 maidens, struck again, tempting Fields to cut a wide one outside off and edge straight to Jenny Gunn at gully. Gunn took a spectacular catch diving to her left and Fields departed for 43.

The partnership between Perry and spinner Erin Osborne then proved a further irritation for England. Perry, initially frustrated by her inability to score runs freely, found an able partner in Osborne, as the two of them worked hard to rotate the strike and keep the runs flowing. Osborne grew in confidence, playing some beautiful drives down the ground, hitting five boundaries in her 40.

England were further hampered by the removal of Katherine Brunt from the attack. In her first over after lunch, the ball slipped from Brunt's hand, resulting in her second head-height full toss of the day and the suspension of England's most dangerous bowler for the rest of the innings.

The scorching Perth heat gradually sapped the strength of England's other quicks, with captain Charlotte Edwards only able to bowl them for short periods. Anya Shrubsole and Gunn both left the field between spells as England were forced to bowl Test debutant Natalie Sciver and part-time medium-pacer Arran Brindle, neither of whom proved effective at breaking the partnership of Perry and Osborne.

It did not help that Edwards was off the field for 40 minutes before tea and remained so for the entire evening session, after an awkward dive in the field left her undergoing treatment on her knee, and unable to open for England.

Australia had recovered to 177, having added 140 for the loss of just Fields, before Gunn finally made the breakthrough, surprising Perry with a fuller ball and bowling her for 71, a score which she had fought 172 balls for. It was an apt reward for Gunn's efforts - she bowled 18 overs at a cost of just 14 runs - as both she and spinner Danielle Hazell attempted to dry up Australia's scoring.

England were unable to sweep through the tail until the new ball aided matters, with Shrubsole following on from her efforts on the first evening by taking two wickets: Osborne, lbw for 40 to an inswinger that looked to be hitting leg stump, and Sarah Coyte to another slower inswinger which hit middle and off, leaving Shrubsole with figures of 4 for 51. Sciver finished the job, finally claiming her first Test wicket, as Farrell was caught by Shrubsole at fine leg off an attempted hook shot, as Australia were all out for 207, a lead of six runs.

Such a total looked unlikely when Australia slipped to 5 for 37 in the tenth over of the day. Cross was rewarded with the wicket of danger-woman Jess Cameron from only her fourth delivery in Test cricket, bowling her with a good-length ball. Cross followed this up in her next over with a full, straight yorker to Alex Blackwell, who was dismissed for a four-ball duck.

An exceptionally hostile spell of bowling from Brunt then paid off as she claimed the wicket of Wormsley centurion Sarah Elliott, who edged behind on 13. Suddenly Australia were five down, and staring the follow-on target of 51 in the face. But that seems a long time ago.

Raf Nicholson is a PhD student, an England supporter, a feminist, and fanatical about women's cricket. She tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 12, 2014, 7:30 GMT)

Ellyse Perry, you are a star :) common Aussies bring it on home.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (January 12, 2014, 0:44 GMT)

It's a new game plan the Aussie teams are employing. Get 5 down for not a lot and then the keeper and lower order come in and make a lot of runs, thus demoralizing the opposition. Very clever!

Posted by pat_one_back on (January 11, 2014, 23:59 GMT)

It really doesn't seem to matter which Aust team is in trouble at 5 down against Eng!

Posted by   on (January 11, 2014, 22:10 GMT)

Good on you Ellyse and Rene! Another good opening spell this morning may just bring them down, keep at it girls!

Posted by spartan7 on (January 11, 2014, 21:07 GMT)

Raf, though men haven't got anything to with it, this game is mirroring English men's campaign over past few weeks. Get on top in the first inning, only to see themselves swept off the feet by some excellent damage control by the Aus lower middle order. Eng are now headed for a heavy drubbing.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2014, 18:33 GMT)

There seems to be an uncanny resemblance to the recently concluded men's Ashes. Australia's top order fails to score and the No. 7 (Haddin for the men and Perry for the women) scores a defiant half century to earn a first innings lead. England should collapse for less than 200 in the second innings and Australia will knock off the winning runs. It might even be a three-day Test!

I wish it was a three-Test series and televised!

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Raf Nicholson Raf Nicholson is a PhD student who spends her days (and nights) researching the history of women's cricket. Her thesis may or may not end up being titled "Cricket without the balls". She is an England supporter, a feminist, and fanatical about women's cricket, but will admit that Michael Clarke is hot stuff. She has been known to bowl entire overs of wides and to bat like Phil Tufnell, but isn't always quite this good. @RafNicholson
Fixtures Results
Only Test: Eng Women v India Women at Wormsley
Aug 13-16, 2014 (11:00 local | 10:00 GMT | 06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT)
1st ODI: Eng Women v India Women at Scarborough
Aug 21, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
2nd ODI: Eng Women v India Women at Scarborough
Aug 23, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
3rd ODI: Eng Women v India Women at Lord's
Aug 25, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
1st T20I: Eng Women v SA Women at Chelmsford
Sep 1, 2014 (18:30 local | 17:30 GMT | 13:30 EDT | 12:30 CDT | 10:30 PDT)
Complete fixtures »