On the opening day of the women’s Ashes on Thursday, Ellyse Perry of Australia scored an impressive 99 before Sophie Ecclestone led England’s comeback.
Perry served as Australia’s inspiration as the visitors advanced to 328-7 at Trent Bridge by the end of play in the lone Test of the multi-format series. Perry’s decision to overturn a lbw ruling off Lauren Filer’s first ball at the international level was the most exciting moment of a dramatic day.
Ellyse Perry, who had scored only 10 at the time, went on to reach her fifth 50-plus score in 10 Tests against England. Just as Australia looked set to take a stranglehold on the Test, Ecclestone dismissed Jess Jonassen and Australia captain Alyssa Healy, for a duck, in the same over.
Filer eventually claimed the prize scalp of Perry as she eyed a century, while slow left-armer Ecclestone bowled Tahlia McGrath, who smashed 61 in a 119-run stand with Perry. The series consists of a five-day Test, which carries a value of four points, followed by three Twenty20 internationals and three one-day internationals.
After the thrilling first men’s Test between England and Australia earlier this week, it was the women’s turn to seize the spotlight. In their quest to regain the urn for the first time since 2015, England received cheers from an attendance of 5,545, marking the largest crowd on a single day for a women’s Test in the country.
England captain Heather Knight, after being asked to bowl, intentionally organized an offensive field. She made a promise to “entertain and inspire” on the eve of the second-ever five-day women’s Test in history.
But Australia, buoyed by their T20 World Cup triumph earlier this year, were in control at 226-3 before losing three wickets for 12 runs in the space of 24 balls to give England renewed hope.
Annabel Sutherland (39 not out) and Alana King (seven not out) will hope to blast Australia towards 400 when play resumes on Friday.