Women's Ashes Test
Perfect Perry reaches maiden Test century
Australia talisman breaks through for first international century in key innings that keeps Australia in hunt for Test win
Sam Ferris at North Sydney Oval
11 November 2017, 04:35 PM AEST
She’s done it. Superstar allrounder Ellyse Perry, 10 years on from her debut, after 127 innings across all formats, after four times in the 90s, and after 242 minutes at the crease at North Sydney Oval, finally reached triple figures batting for Australia.
And most importantly, her maiden international century came when her country needed it the most.
Entering at No.4 with Australia in the middle of a collapse of 3-13, Perry stood tall and started the rebuild from the ground up.
She first combined with Elyse Villani for 16 overs and 34 runs, but when the Western Australian fell for 14, the hosts were again wobbling at 4-95.
That’s when Perry and Rachael Haynes came together and slowly but surely started to turn the match back to parity.
Perry was watchful throughout her innings and in concert with her skipper banished the bad ball to the boundary after the sun had set and the floodlights had taken completely over.
The pair added 73 crucial runs in 27 overs before Haynes was undone by Katherine Brunt and the second new ball late on day two.
Having survived the Friday night new-ball onslaught, Perry started day three on 70 and promptly put England's debutant left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone to the sword.
Two handsome drives found the rope before she settled back down, blocked the straight ones and attacked the deliveries that deserved to be punished.
On three previous occasions in one-day internationals she had been stranded in the 90s, either running out of balls remaining or runs to chase.
But in the historic day-night Test she had all the time in the world and patiently navigated her way through the nerve-wracking final 10 runs.
Her hundredth run came via a swivel pull shot off Laura Marsh to fine leg, and as the ball crossed the rope, Perry removed her helmet, lofted her arms and saluted the roaring standing ovation.
What made the moment even memorable was how she got to share it with her best friend Alyssa Healy at the the non-striker's end.
Perry’s ton is the first century by an Australian in a Women’s Test match on home soil since Lisa Sthalekar’s unbeaten 120 against in Sydney 14 years ago.
Her "incredibly proud" father, Mark Perry, said the myriad hours of training the pair have spent together paid off on the biggest stage.
"I knew she had the patience," Mr Perry said.
"It’s a Test match, and the way she’s been taught is for this sort of cricket.
"I wasn’t surprised with her patience, she just loves being out there."
Mr Perry said the message to Ellyse overnight was to play like she did on Friday.
"(Keep) doing all the basic things, all the things we talk about with the technique; early takeaway, completing the back swing, getting forward, getting back, using your footwork," he said.
"The basic things, you don’t want to cloud her head with too many things, just keeping it simple and making good decisions.
"They (England’s bowlers) asked plenty of questions and you’ve got to make pretty good decisions to be successful.
"She did that yesterday and I was very proud of the way she played, the way that she batted, it was excellent."
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.
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