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Aussie bats bank on lower-order runs

The Southern Stars are confident of taking a crucial first-innings lead in the Women's Test

Australia's formidable lower order has captain Rachael Haynes confident her side can post a first-innings lead against England after stuttering on day two in the day-night Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes Test in Sydney.

Australia finished the second evening at 5-177, still 103 runs behind England's first innings total of 280.

Haynes was the last batter out, trapped lbw to speedster Katherine Brunt with the second new pink ball, in the final session that belonged to Australia thanks to Ellyse Perry's unbeaten 70.

Perry and No.7 Alyssa Healy survived the last 15 minutes of play and despite the daunting task ahead of them on what has been a placid pitch against disciplined bowling, Haynes has faith the combination at the crease and batters to come can put Australia in the black.

Perry on song for Australia in Sydney

Next batter in is allrounder Tahlia McGrath, the tall, stylish right-hander who bats at No.3 for South Australia and was in fine touch against the Australians when representing an ACT Invitational XI in Canberra last week.

At No.9 is Jess Jonassen, another allrounder who boasts a Test match 99 in the last Women's Ashes Test two years ago in Canterbury. The left-hander also made 54 in the second innings of that match to boot.

And one spot lower is Amanda-Jade Wellington, the debutant leg-spinner who scored a century for SA in the Women's National Cricket League before joining the Australians in camp last month.

That's not to mention the in-form Perry at the crease with 30 runs standing between her and a maiden international century, and Healy, who is in the batting form of her life and has taken the attack to England this series.

Haynes confident lower-order can build lead

"I've got full confidence in our line-up and we've got plenty of batting in the sheds," Haynes told cricket.com.au after play.

"There's not too many demons in that wicket either.

"If our girls can come out tomorrow and be nice and positive it will put us in a good position."

Positivity will be the key after two days of attritional Test cricket.

England's 280 took 116 overs to accumulate while Australia's innings is creeping along at 2.08 runs per over.

Australia coach happy with final session

"We would like to have scored a lot quicker than that, we were quite disappointed with the run rate," Australia coach Matthew Mott said on Friday night.

"But we found that if you bowl straight lines it's a sluggish pitch and it's quite dry and I think England benefited from watching us bowl on it and had good plans that made it hard for us to score.

"The good thing is we showed some initiative and got 90 runs in the last session, if we come out tomorrow afternoon and bat well in the first hour we are looking to push the game a lot quicker than that."

Coach and captain are on the same page when it comes to the tone of Australia's play in the first session of Saturday afternoon.

"We've got to have a bit more intent with how we go out there and play," Haynes said.

"England have got a quality line-up and I think if you're not proactive they can really lock in.

"The batter coming to the crease tomorrow I think they've got the shots so we're just looking for them to go out and be nice and positive."


Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes

Australia lead England 4-2

Australia Test squad: Rachael Haynes (C), Alex Blackwell (VC), Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, 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