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McGrath boosts chances for Ashes selection

Tahlia McGrath puts her hand up for Test selection after a stand out performance with the pink ball in Canberra

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Tahlia McGrath enhanced her case to earn a maiden Baggy Green cap in this week's Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes Test in one incredible over with the ball at Manuka Oval.

Dropped back to play for an invitational ACT XI against the Aussies but still part of the Test squad, McGrath claimed three wickets in four balls on the final day of the three-day day-night tour match in Canberra on Sunday

The statement could hardly have been any bigger, given the scalps included top-scorer Elyse Villani, captain Rachael Haynes and star player Ellyse Perry in her match-best figures of 3-8 in the second innings with the pink ball.

"She changed the game today," Australia's coach Matt Mott said.

"It was meandering along and in the space of two overs she turned the game on its head. That was impressive and something we like seeing.

"(She) was outstanding."

The match ended as a draw after ACT claimed a first-innings lead when both sides declared their first digs early, before Australia hit 9(dec)-287 in their second and ACT were 3-68 at the close.

McGrath, 21, returned from a back injury into Australia's squad for the three one-dayers against England earlier this month.

But she was replaced by fellow young quick Lauren Cheatle for the weekend's warm-up match. Cheatle could be a preferred option for Friday's one-off Test given she offers a left-arm option with the ball.

Womens Ashes - Captain Rachel Haynes on pink ball warm up

Mott is due to reduce Australia's squad from 15 to 13 on Monday but he said he would wait until the squad travelled to Sydney and inspected the North Sydney pitch for the historic first women's day-night Test.

He will do so now after seeing the women play with the pink ball for the first time.

"It definitely creates a little bit of an aura at night and whether it does swing more is up to people in the middle to assess," Mott said.

"We got really good at that in the second innings, we identified a key moment in the second innings and we got through that."

Meanwhile England also drew their day-night warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI in Sydney, with the hosts 84 runs short of the victory target with three wickets in hand when play ended.

Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes

Australia lead England 4-2

Australia squad (ODI and Test): Rachael Haynes (C), Alex Blackwell (VC), Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa (Test only), Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.

Schedule


First ODI Australia won by two wickets

Second ODI Australia won by 75 runs (DLS method)

Third ODI England won by 20 runs (DLS method)

Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12

First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17

North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation

Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19

Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21

Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT