Australia’s women exact revenge

Following the Baggy Greens’ humiliation at Trent Bridge, it was the turn of the Southern Stars to salvage some pride as they faced England’s women at Canterbury in the sole Ashes test.

Australia opted to bat first and posted an encouraging total of 274-9 declared, with Jess Jonassen the top scorer, falling just one run short of a century. The star of the show from the bowling team’s perspective was medium-pacer Anya Shrubsole, who amassed figures of 4-63, dismissing both openers, Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton.

England struggled in reply, and quickly found themselves at 7-2 following the dismissals of Lauren Winfield and Sarah Taylor. Ellyse Perry tore through the top order, before Megan Schutt finished off the tail-enders and ended with hugely impressive figures of 4-26 to bowl out their adversaries for 168.

Australia had a comfortable lead on which to build, and despite losing Villani and captain Meg Lanning for ducks early on, they composed themselves, with Alex Blackwell making an unbeaten 47 and Jonassen once again proving her worth with a knock of 54. They again chose to declare, this time on 156-6, to leave England with an ambitious target of 263 to win.

It was at this point that the hosts subsequently wilted. Perry once again bowled superbly, with Georgia Elwiss the only player to get close to a half-century (46). Shrubsole was the last player to be dismissed, with England finishing on 101 all out.

Charlotte Taylor will need to rally the girls before the three T20 matches that take place in the last week of August. England can now no longer win the series, but victory in all the shorter format matches would see them claim a draw overall. This seems very unlikely however, given the form of their opponents.

Alex Bowmer

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