Women's Ashes Test
Australia retain Ashes with Taunton draw
Ellyse Perry continued her remarkable Ashes campaign with another half-century as Australia batted England out of the Test - and the series
Laura Jolly in Taunton
22 July 2019, 04:50 AM AEST
Australia have officially retained the women’s Ashes after the one-off Test in Taunton petered out into a draw on Sunday afternoon.
Another superb Test innings from Ellyse Perry and a blinder of a catch from Tammy Beaumont at short leg provided some sparks of entertainment as the game meandered to a close in the final session, with Australia captain Meg Lanning and her English counterpart Heather Knight shaking hands at 5.37pm local time.
The four points on offer for the four-day game have been split, giving Australia an 8-2 lead in the multi-format series – enough to retain the trophy they have held since 2015 with three T20Is still to play.
Perry finished unbeaten on 76 from 144 deliveries, adding to the brilliant 116 she scored in the first innings of the match.
Any hopes England had of Australia declaring on Sunday afternoon and presenting them with some sort of target to chase for an unlikely win – one they needed to keep the series alive – dried up as Perry and Jess Jonassen resumed batting after the tea break, at which point Australia’s lead was 279 with a minimum of 41 overs remaining in the day.
Jonassen was dismissed lbw to Knight on 37 during the final session and debutante Sophie Molineux struck a quickfire 55-ball 41, before Australia finished on 7-230 in their second innings, a lead of 375 runs.
Ellyse Perry has now scored 400 runs in the past two #Ashes Tests. Dismissed once.1-400. Absurd. pic.twitter.com/ixjot9VuZW— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) July 21, 2019
Earlier, England made a bold declaration when they were still 145 runs behind Australia’s first-innings 8-420(dec) in a bid to force a result.
They had early reason to feel buoyant when Laura Marsh struck twice in an over after lunch to have the tourists 2-15, as first Alyssa Healy (13) was bowled by a superb delivery before Rachael Haynes - elevated after Nicole Bolton suffered a thumb injury while fielding – was struck plumb on the pads, out for one.
First-innings centurion Perry joined Lanning at the crease and they steadied, building Australia’s lead while the English spinners continued to threaten.
Desperate to keep the pressure on, the England fielders crowded close in around the Australian pair – Knight even channeling local legend Marcus Trescothick and fielding on her knees at second slip – but it was a rank full toss which ultimately accounted for Lanning, after she went after the rogue delivery from debutante left-arm tweaker Kirstie Gordon, only to spank it to cover where Georgia Elwiss held on to a sharp catch, the Australian captain on her way for 21.
Pressure around the bat! #Ashes pic.twitter.com/PYTJaLh0JC— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) July 21, 2019
A stunning catch from Beaumont at short leg then ended Beth Mooney’s energetic innings on 25 from 33 deliveries, the diminutive English opener hanging on to a blinder after Mooney looked to attack Ecclestone.
Perry survived an lbw shout from Sophie Ecclestone on 20 which ball-tracking showed would have hit and the Australian allrounder at times looked ginger while running between wickets due to a rumoured groin niggle, but it didn’t stop her bringing up a half-century from 88 deliveries, adding to the 116 she scored in the first innings.
Earlier, England pair Natalie Sciver and Anya Shrubsole started with more positive intent on Sunday after their sluggish finish to day three.
Shrubsole, resuming on one from 36 deliveries, found the boundary once before erring when she danced down the wicket to Sophie Molineux, missing it completely before Alyssa Healy whipped off the bails, out for 15.
Laura Marsh joined Sciver in the middle and looked to continue the more positive approach. She weathered a storm of fast, short-pitched bowling from Australian debutant Tayla Vlaeminck, who reached match-high speeds of 120km/h during her fiery four-over spell.
Never boring with @a_healy around 🤣 #WATCHME #Ashes A post shared by Aussie Women's Cricket Team (@southernstars) on
Sciver looked poised to bring up a maiden Test century but came unstuck when she bottom edged a Jonassen delivery, chopping on to depart for 88, her anguish obvious as she angrily swiped at the ground.
Some bold stroke play from Marsh (28) and Ecclestone (9no) got England past the follow-on mark before they declared shortly before lunch after Marsh’s dismissal.
Australia and England now head to Chelmsford where the first of the three T20Is will be played on Friday evening..
CommBank Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
England Test squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole (vc), Lauren Winfield, Sarah Taylor
Australia lead England 8-2
First ODI: Australia won by two wickets
Second ODI: Australia won by four wickets
Third ODI: Australia won by 194 runs
July 18-21: Match Drawn
July 26: First T20, County Ground, Chelmsford
July 28: Second T20, The County Ground, Hove