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Mooney locks in Test opening role with warm-up century

England A did well to restrict the visitors to 285 before responding positively with the bat

Beth Mooney scored a century, England Women Academy vs Australia, Tour match, Grace Road, June 15, 2023

Beth Mooney started her Ashes tour in style  •  ECB via Getty Images

England A 135 for 2 (Scrivens 55*, Winfield-Hill 53*) trail Australia 285 (Mooney 107, Dean 3-49) by 149 runs
Beth Mooney cemented her spot as Australia's opener for the women's Ashes Test after scoring a dominant century against England A.
Mooney scored 107 from 133 balls at Leicester on Thursday, as Australia were all out for 284 and had their English rivals 2-135 in reply at stumps on day one.
With Meg Lanning out of the tour with illness and Rachael Haynes having retired since their last red-ball match, Australia gave their strongest indication yet of their line up for next week's Test in Nottingham.
Captain Alyssa Healy moved down the order to No. 5, after indicating last month she did not want to shoulder the load of wicketkeeping and opening.
That prompted Phoebe Litchfield and Mooney to open, in an entirely new-look combination after Healy and Haynes opened in Australia's last Test.
Litchfield fell for 19, but still looks likely to earn a Test debut at the top of the order at Trent Bridge next week.
Mooney, however, had no such trouble ahead of the one-off Test against England that kicks off the multi-format series. She was dominant square of the wicket and punished an England A attack that was sometimes too wayward.
Mooney has opened previously in Test cricket, but has traditionally batted at No. 3 or in the middle order before Haynes' retirement. Her score was the only Australian one above 40, as others fell to loose shots around her.
"I seem to do that in warm-up games and not transfer that to the real thing," Mooney said. "Hopefully next week I can. The first few days in England it's nice to hit a few off the middle."
Kim Garth then pushed her case for a Test debut for Australia as she took 2 for 24 late in the day. Veteran seamer Megan Schutt was not used, with Australia likely to leave her out of the Test attack and play former Irish international Garth instead.
"Kimmy G is a ripper, she has contributed hugely to this group off the field and it's nice to see her getting some games on the field," said Mooney. She presents a real threat to the England top order, so it's nice to see her get a couple in this game."