Kia Women's Test: Day Four
Australia retained the Women’s Ashes after the Test match at the Cooper Associates County Ground ended in a draw on day four.
The tourists hold an unassailable 8-2 lead over England heading into the three-match IT20 series, with England no longer able to reach the 10 points needed to regain the trophy.
England passed the follow-on target in the morning session and then declared to set up their best chance of a win. Nat Sciver added 22 to her overnight score before playing on to Jess Jonassen or 88.
Laura Marsh added a vital 28 and when she also fell to Jonassen before lunch England captain Heather Knight called her players in.
England went on the attack with the ball, surrounding the bat with close catchers. And the pressure paid off after lunch as Laura Marsh took two wickets in an over, bowling Alyssa Healy with a sharp-turning ball and then trapping Rachael Haynes lbw four balls later.
Meg Lanning and first-innings century-maker Ellyse Perry steadied the ship until Lanning smashed a Kirstie Gordon full toss right to Georgia Elwiss at cover.
However, the chances of winning dwindled as the Australians batted on, with good innings from Perry (76 not out), Jonassen (37) and Sophie Molineux (41), before the handshake came with 17 overs remaining.
At the close of play Perry was awarded the player of the match award by Somerset CCC CEO, Andrew Cornish.
Amy Jones and Natalie Sciver both hit 50s as England Women finished day three of the Kia Women’s Test 221 runs behind Australia.
The visitors added 60 to their overnight score for the loss of three wickets. Jess Jonassen was caught well at gully by Sciver off the bowling of Katherine Brunt and Sophie Molineux was bowled by Sophie Ecclestone.
Jones then pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss Beth Mooney who, shortly after reaching 50, got a leading edge to Sciver high towards third man. Jones raced back and took the ball well over her shoulder – the wicket was enough for Australia captain Meg Lanning to call her team in for a declaration.
England’s reply didn’t have the ideal start, losing Tammy Beaumont for a duck, but Jones and Heather Knight knuckled down for a 79-run partnership.
Knight was out lbw to Molineux – the first of her three wickets in the day – for 28. Georgia Elwiss was run out by a direct hit for nine before Jones was dismissed for 64 trying to hit Molineux over the top and being caught at mid-off.
Sciver and Brunt put on 57 for the sixth wicket, with Sciver reaching her maiden Test fifty in the extended final session.
England resume on 199 for six on the final day, with Sciver (52*) and Anya Shrubsole (1*) looking to get closer to Australia’s first innings of 420 for eight.
At the close of play Sciver said: “We’re trying our hardest out there – obviously losing a few wickets doesn’t help things and that dictates the way we play going forward. As a team we fought really hard.
“Amy batted really well and really fluently. We needed to play attacking cricket and she got out doing that, so we can’t really fault that. It’ll be a fight tomorrow as well.
“We didn’t think too much about the score, but we knew we needed to play positively. It has gone the other way a little bit – the pitch is doing a bit and they’ve got some good spinners. If we do get in a position where we can make Australia bat again then we’ve got some world-class spinners in our team to hopefully take some wickets.”
Rain ruined a potentially enthralling day two of this KIA Women’s Test match at the Cooper associates County Ground.
Australia resumed on 265 for three and were looking to pile on the agony for England.
Ellyse Perry who began the day on 84 soon moved to her century, her second in as many Test match innings, as the visitors tightened their grip on the series.
Perry and Rachael Haynes added 162 for the fourth wicket before Perry eventually fell for 116 from 281 balls at 322 for four. Haynes then fell for the addition of just thirteen runs to the total. Laura Marsh claimed both scalps.
At lunch Australia had reached 341 for five, but unfortunately rain meant that no further play was possible.
Australia enjoyed the best of the first day of the Kia Women’s Test at Taunton, reaching 265 for three at the close.
In a must-win game for England their bowlers plugged away with limited success, coming up against Ellyse Perry (84*) and Rachael Haynes (54*) who put on 105 for the fourth wicket.
Three wickets fell in the day, all bowled, with Katherine Brunt, debutant Kirstie Gordon and Sophie Ecclestone claiming one apiece.
Had England enjoyed a little more luck in the field they may have claimed a few more scalps.
Ecclestone came back strongly with the ball after earlier leaving the field injured with a bruised right shoulder, but there was further concern for England after Tammy Beaumont was struck on the left thumb fielding at short-leg.
She left the field of play for an X-Ray, and England will hope she’ll be able to open the batting alongside England’s second new cap Amy Jones.
At the close of play Anya Shrubsole said: “I think it’s relatively evenly poised. On a day one at Taunton, I think that’s what you expect. It’s a decent batting track.
“We stuck at it, never let them get away from us and made it hard work. With a bit more luck, we could have had a few more wickets.
“If we can pick up a couple tomorrow morning then the game opens up a bit more and that’s what we’ll be aiming to do.”
England take on Australia at the Cooper Associates County Ground in the Kia Ashes Test match.
England currently trail Australia by six points following the three Ashes ODIs, but with four points on offer for the winners of the Test plus six points available in the IT20s it’s still all to play for.
Play will get underway at 11am tomorrow (Thursday) with gates set to open at 10am.
Tickets for this match are still available and can be purchased here
HOW CAN I KEEP UP TO DATE?
The match is being broadcast live on Sky Sports Cricket with coverage starting from 10:30am.
In addition to this a report on the day’s play along with quotes will be posted after the close.
HEAD TO HEAD
The two sides have met in Women’s Test matches on 50 occasions. England have won nine of these matches, Australia have won 14, 26 have been drawn and one was abandoned.
The first time that the two sides met in a Test was in December 1934 in Brisbane.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat but Myrtle Maclagan claimed seven wickets for just ten runs from her 17 overs as the hosts were all out for 47 in their first innings. Maclagan then top scored with 72 as England made 154 in their first innings despite seven for 18. England went on to win the match by nine wickets.
The last time the sides met in red-ball cricket was in a drawn day/night Test at Sydney in September 2017.
England won the toss, elected to bat and posted a total of 280. Tammy Beaumont top scored with 70 whilst Heather Knight made 62.
In reply, 213 not out from Ellyse Perry helped Australia to declare on 448 for nine.
Batting for a second time, Knight made a stubborn 79 as England reached 206 for two by the close of play.
England have named the following squad for the match: Heather Knight (Captain), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Sarah Taylor.
The Australia squad is: Meg Lanning (Captain), Rachael Haynes, Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Ahead of the clash England Captain, Heather Knight said: “It’s obviously a very important match for us and we need to win it to stay in the series.
“The beauty of the multi-format points series means we’re still very much in the battle. We can get back to 6-4 with a win in the Test match and that’s exciting.
“The warm-up at Millfield was ideal. We saw batters get runs and spend time in the middle whilst the bowlers performed well to bowl out the opposition twice on a flat one. We’re raring to go again to get back into the Ashes.”
Australia Vice Captain, Rachael Haynes said: “I’ve got no doubt they’re going to respond as a group, they really have to, to get back into the series.
“Having played against them before, often when they’ve got their backs against the wall they really do come and have a good crack so we’re expecting nothing less during this Test.
“We know it will be a tough fight but we’re well and truly looking forward to it.”
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
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