As Ellyse Perry prepares to become the first woman to play 300 games for Australia, here is a look at a dozen of her most remarkable performances
The Perry Best: Ellyse's most elite performances
Ellyse Perry is set to join elite company in Mumbai on Saturday night, becoming the first Australian woman and the fourth female overall to play 300 international games.
The superstar allrounder first arrived on the international scene at just 16 years of age in 2007, when she was pulled out of school and flown to Darwin to make her ODI debut against New Zealand.
She was player of the match on T20 debut against England at the MCG in early 2008, and earned a Baggy Green cap in Bowral shortly after.
In the years since, Perry has evolved from a fast bowler to one of the greatest ever allrounders, becoming one of the most decorated and recognisable faces in world cricket.
A seven-time World Cup winner, Perry has picked up three Belinda Clark awards, scored a Test double century, captured the best ODI figures by an Australian woman and was named the ICC’s Cricketer of the Decade.
At 33 years old, she is showing no signs of slowing down.
Ellyse Perry 2007-2024
Tests: 12 | Runs: 925 | Ave: 66.07 | HS: 213* | 100s: 2 | 50s: 4 | Wickets: 38 | Ave: 21.28 | BBI: 6-32 | BBM: 9-70 | 5w: 2
ODIs: 141 | Runs: 3852 | Ave: 51.36 | HS: 112* | SR: 78 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 34 | Wickets: 162 | Ave: 25.24 | BBI: 7-22 | Eco: 4.37 | 5w: 3
T20Is: 146 | Runs: 1774 | Ave: 32.25 | SR: 115.79 | HS: 75 | 50s: 9 | Wickets: 123 | Ave: 18.93 | BBI: 4-12 | Eco: 5.85 | 4w: 4
Choosing just 12 performances from 299 highlights-filled matches is no easy task, but those listed below either marked personal milestones, broke records or helped Australia to significant victories – and in some cases, achieved all three.
A dozen of Ellyse Perry’s best performances
First T20I v England, Melbourne Cricket Ground
January 17, 2008: 29no & 4-20 v England
Perry's international debut came somewhat off the beaten track, in a one-day international against New Zealand in Darwin during a winter Top End tour.
But her T20I debut came on one of the biggest stages: at the MCG against England.
The match was a double-header played before the men, and was broadcast on national free-to-air television - something that remained a novelty for the women at the time.
Perry, aged 17, was not overawed by the occasion as she strode to the middle at No.7, hitting a four and a six in her unbeaten 29 off 25 deliveries.
She was Australia's second-highest scorer in a total of 5-127, and her performance with the ball ensured it would be more than enough.
Coming on as fifth change, Perry picked up 4-20. She had Rosalie Birth well-caught by an athletic Shelley Nitschke, and was then involved in the run out of Claire Taylor.
She bowled Jenny Gunn and Caroline Atkins then got caught behind as Australia won by 21 runs - and was rightfully named player of the match as the 'Perry era' officially arrived.
T20 World Cup final, Kensington Oval, Barbados
May 16, 2010: 3-18 v New Zealand
It was a night that would go down in history as the moment Ellyse Perry's foot won Australia's first T20 World Cup.
Playing New Zealand in the tournament decider, Australia had scraped their way to 8-106 and needed something special with the ball to overcome their trans-Tasman rivals.
Perry picked up the crucial wickets of Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite in the first eight overs, then returned to again halt the White Ferns' momentum when she got Nicola Brown caught behind on 20 in the 18th.
It all came down to the final over, with New Zealand needing 14 runs as Perry bowled to Sophie Devine.
Devine was unable to find the boundary, but run a series of twos to take the chase to the final ball.
Needing five runs to win, or four to force a Super Over, Devine hammered a powerful straight drive – a shot that should have rocketed down the ground to the boundary - but Perry managed to somehow stick out her right foot and deflect the ball to mid-on, conceding just a single.
ODI World Cup Final, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
February 17, 2013: 3-19 & 25no v West Indies
Perry's courage and commitment to the cause was on full display when she bowled through the pain of stress fractures in her left ankle to help Australia seal an ODI World Cup victory.
The young quick had missed a much of the tournament due to injury, but with a World Cup trophy on the line, Australia rolled the dice on her fitness.
While batting, there was no cause for concern as she hit two fours and a six in a handy cameo of 25 from 22 not out, helping her team to 7-259 from their 50 overs.
When Megan Schutt, Julie Hunter and Lisa Sthalekar all failed to find a way to break up the Windies’ opening pair, reaching 32 without loss, captain Jodie Fields threw the ball to Perry.
Hearts in mouths, her teammates then watched as she aborted her first delivery before reaching the crease, pulling up and limping.
Her second attempt produced the same result. But Perry refused to leave the field and made a third attempt, this time, delivering the ball.
Her sixth ball got the wicket, with Kycia Knight trapped lbw. Her 10th had Stafanie Taylor caught and bowled. Her 15th removed Natasha McLean. Suddenly, the Windies were 3-41 and Perry had figures of 3-2 from three overs.
The Windies never recovered and somehow, Perry not only stayed on the field for the entire 43.1 overs it took for Australia to seal victory, but she also bowled out her 10 overs for figures of 3-19. After the final, she was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her ankle and later underwent surgery to remove bone spurs.
Ashes Test, WACA Ground
January 10-13, 2014: 71 & 31, 3-41 & 5-38 v England
Perry was player of the match the last time the WACA Ground held a women's Test match in 2014, scoring 71 and taking eight wickets in the fiercely contested loss to England.
She took three first-innings wickets including those of Sarah Taylor and Lydia Greenway, before she helped dig the Aussies out of trouble with the bat.
Arriving in the middle with the hosts 6-92, Perry top-scored with 71, ensuring Australia took a slim six-run first-innings lead.
Perry then claimed 5-38 as England were rolled for 190 in their second dig, and was a figure of resistance as her teammates fell around her in their unsuccessful chase, top-scoring with 31 as the Aussies were bundled out for 123.
Ashes Test, St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury
August 11-14, 2015: 6-32 v England
Australia had not won a Test on foreign soil since 2001, but a stunning display from Perry put an end to that drought in the one-off Ashes Test in 2015.
The tourists had set England a target of 263, declaring during the morning session of the final day, and after Sarah Coyte found the initial breakthrough, trapping England opener Heather Knight lbw for five, first-drop Sarah Taylor dragged Perry on to off-stump to depart without scoring.
England resumed the afternoon session on 2-16 but quickly collapsed to be 5-29 as Perry had captain Charlotte Edwards caught behind for one, and Megan Schutt removed Lauren Winfield-Hill and Natalie Sciver.
Lydia Greenway (16) and Georgia Elwiss (46) dug in – Greenway’s first 100 deliveries consisted of 94 dot balls – and their dogged wall of defiance threatened to spoil Australia’s hopes of a drought-breaking victory.
But like she did after lunch, Perry struck early after the tea interval, bowling Greenway with a bouncer that failed to live up to its name, keeping low and crashing into leg-stump.
She doubled-up next ball, bowling Laura Marsh, as the rampant visitors then ripped through the tail to bowl England out for 101, Perry finishing with 6-32. Crucially, the Test win left Australia requiring just one win from three T20Is to reclaim the multi-format Ashes, a feat they went on to achieve.
Third T20I v India, Sydney Cricket Ground
January 31, 2016: 55* & 4-12 v India
This was a dead rubber in a series already sensationally claimed by India, but Perry’s all-round individual performance at the SCG was significant; it remains the only occasion a player has scored a half-century and taken four wickets in a women’s T20I.
With Australia batting first following back-to-back defeats, Perry anchored her team’s innings and escalated late, taking 24 from the final two overs to finish unbeaten on 55 from 41 deliveries.
Then, when the game was evenly poised with India 3-92 chasing 137, Perry re-entered the attack, picking up four wickets in 14 balls to seal victory.
The match also coincided with the end of Perry’s dual sporting careers – through the 2015-16 summer she had also held a contract with W-League club Sydney FC, playing occasional matches when they did not clash with her cricket.
That day at the SCG, Sydney FC played a grand final and had provisionally named Perry in their squad, but the allrounder stuck to her commitment to the T20 series – and thereafter, cricket was her full-time profession.
Ashes Test, North Sydney Oval
November 9-12, 2017: 213no v England
Perry entered the inaugural women’s day-night Test without an international century. She more than made up for it over the days that followed to etch her name in the history books.
Not content to simply bring up her maiden Test ton, embracing close mate Alyssa Healy after reaching the magical milestone, Perry batted on, and on, and on.
Across more than four sessions of batting, she slowly and expertly dismantled England's bowlers and as the third day of play drew to a close, it appeared the only thing that would stop her from scoring a double would be a lack of partners.
Perry was on 193 not out when the ninth wicket fell, before a single put her within six runs of a double-century and she decided to take on the off-spin of Laura Marsh and target the vacant mid-wicket boundary to bring up the milestone with one lusty blow.
It appeared she had achieved exactly that as the crowd roared, convincing everyone – Perry included – she had cleared the rope.
The celebrations were briefly put on hold when she was informed that the ball had in fact fallen just short of the rope, leaving her with two runs still to get, but Perry would not be denied, reaching 200 with a boundary three balls later.
Her 213no was the highest Test score by an Australian woman, and the third highest in women's Tests.
Second Rose Bowl ODI, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
February 24, 2019: 107no & 1-15 v New Zealand
Perry continued a trend of reaching major milestones in dramatic fashion when she hit her first ODI century against New Zealand in Adelaide.
Having executed the anchor role with aplomb to steer Australia out of a spot of bother, the allrounder was unbeaten on 95 heading into the final over of the innings.
Perry had been in this situation before; having finished not out in the 90s on three previous occasions in ODIs and dismissed for an even 90 on another.
It looked as though she may once again fall short when she hit two singles – batting partner Delissa Kimmince duly returning the strike each time – to sit on 97 with two balls remaining.
Searching for a boundary, Perry went big on the second last ball of the innings, bringing up her century in bizarre circumstances when she was dropped on the rope by Anna Peterson.
The ball then rolled to the boundary, to see the Australian to celebrate three figures in an ODI for the first time. Perry then struck a six to put the finishing flourish on a fine 107 from 110 deliveries.
The star allrounder was again in the thick of the action following the change of innings, bowling New Zealand star Suzie Bates in the sixth over.
Third Ashes ODI, St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury
July 7, 2019: 7-22 v England
The best-ever ODI spell produced by an Australian woman was the culmination of months of planning combined with the tireless worth ethic of the game’s greatest allrounder – and its most relentless perfectionist.
In 10 devastating overs, Perry left England shell shocked as she bagged 7-22 on a sunny afternoon in Canterbury, sealing a victory that would lay the foundation for Australia’s most convincing series win since the introduction of the multi-format women’s Ashes.
When Perry dismissed England opener Amy Jones for a duck with her third ball of the day, those watching had an inkling his star allrounder might be in for a day out, but few could have predicted the carnage that would follow.
Perry tore through England at St Lawrence Ground, putting on a ruthless clinic that saw the hosts bowled out for a paltry 75 and eclipsing her country’s previous best one-day figures of 7-24, held by legendary allrounder Shelley Nitschke.
Ashes Test, County Ground, Taunton
July 18-21, 2019: 116 & 76no v England
Throughout the close to six hours she spent at the crease in Taunton, Perry was the picture of unflappable concentration.
A return to her favourite format was fully embraced by the allrounder, who employed her textbook technique to perfection to clinically bring up her second Test century.
Perry denied the England attack through the afternoon session on day one, with bowlers Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Sophie Ecclestone, Kirstie Gordon and Laura Marsh all searching fruitlessly for the chink in her armour, first with old ball and then with new.
Rain had been expected to delay the start of play on Friday but it seemed not even the weather Gods were going to stand between Perry and her nirvana: standing in the middle, bat in hand, wearing Test whites, eyeing a hundred.
Resuming on 84 on day two, it was a misfield and a dashed single that sealed back-to-back Ashes Test centuries for Perry, coming 615 days after she first reached triple figures in the whites.
A misfield handed her the run she needed to bring up a magical century. Perry, ever low-key, was simply smiling, removing her helmet and waving her bat at a small, but appreciative Somerset crowd that included her parents Mark and Kathy Perry.
At the moment she raised the bat at Taunton’s County Ground, she had scored 313 runs from 620 balls without being dismissed in Test cricket, following on from that famous unbeaten 213-run epic in Sydney.
Her a chanceless innings only ended out of the blue on 116 when she mishit a Laura Marsh full toss directly to England captain Heather Knight.
Back-to-back hundreds beckoned in Australia's second dig when Perry brought up another half-century, but time ran out as the allrounder was left unbeaten on 76 when the match was declared a draw.
Second ODI, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
September 8, 2019: 112no & 1-5 v West Indies
For a player who took a decade to reach triple figures for the first time in international cricket, Perry proved she had developed a taste for big scores when she scored an unbeaten 112 at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, her third century of the calendar year.
While Australia’s opponents were weakened by injuries that had left them without a host of their best players, Perry’s performance was proof she is one of the premier athletes in the country.
While batting, she occupied the crease for 40.1 overs in oppressive heat and humidity – conditions that saw her teammate Beth Mooney retire due to heat exhaustion – before backing up by taking the new ball and capturing the first Windies wicket in her second over.
In all, the only time Perry appeared flustered was when she was called upon to do a last-minute cap presentation for Sydney Sixers teammate Erin Burns, who was a sudden addition to the Australia XI when captain Lanning was ruled out due to back spasms just minutes before the coin toss.
Third & Fourth T20Is, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
December 14 & 17, 2022: 75 (47 balls) & 72no (42) v India
Perry had been dropped from Australia's T20I XI almost 12 months earlier and forced to carry drinks during the Commonwealth Games.
Issued with the task of improving her strike rate, Perry got her opportunity to show off her gains when she was recalled during the five-game T20I tour of India.
In consecutive matches at Brabourne Stadium, she hammered 75 from 47 deliveries then followed up with 72no from 42.
Perhaps the most telling sign of her transformation was how she started the second of those innings: getting off the mark with a six for the first time in her international career.