Women's Ashes ODIs
Team comes first for modest Perry
The star allrounder deflected praise to her teammates after a superb spell of fast bowling dismantled England in the third ODI
Laura Jolly at St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury
8 July 2019, 11:07 AM AEST
In 10 devastating overs on a sunny Canterbury afternoon, Ellyse Perry reinforced her status as the game’s greatest allround player as she left England’s hopes of regaining the Ashes in tatters.
Almost four years to the day after she bagged six wickets to bowl Australia to a Test match victory at the St Lawrence Ground, Perry tore through England in a spell of 7-22 at the same venue, the best-ever ODI figures by an Australian woman.
She eclipsed the previous best figures of 7-24 held by legendary allrounder Shelley Nitschke – who, as Australia’s current assistant coach, was watching on from the dugout – while her numbers were the fourth best overall in women’s ODIs.
Cheeky response from the legendary Shelley Nitschke after watching @EllysePerry break her 🇦🇺 ODI bowling record 😂#Ashes #WATCHME pic.twitter.com/MbEOouODHF— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@SouthernStars) July 8, 2019
Her ruthless clinic saw England bowled out for 75, handing Australia a mammoth 194-run victory as they placed one hand firmly on the Ashes with just one leg of the multi-format, points-based series played.
But in typical Perry fashion, she downplayed her status as the game’s best allrounder following Sunday’s match.
"You can call me what you like, but I'm not sure that's the case," she said.
"I honestly think today just went my way, which is nice, but across the series there has been some great performances and for us to start the way that we have, and be six points clear, is the absolute dream start so all of us are really chuffed and myself especially."
If Perry started her career as a tearaway teenage quick, before transforming herself into one of the world’s best batters, it’s perhaps now that the 28-year-old has reached that perfect balance: reaching the peak of both her duel powers simultaneously.
Where at one point a couple of years ago it seemed perhaps her pace had lost its venom, that she wasn’t tormenting attacks the same way she had earlier in her career – but at the same time, had lifted her ODI batting average above 50 – Perry’s ruthless new-ball displays in the three Ashes ODIs to date have been key in putting Australia 6-0 in the black on the points-based series.
It’s not a sudden revival – she bowled her way into the T20 World Cup’s team of the tournament last November when starved of opportunities with the bat – but her influence on these three Ashes ODIs has been significant, taking 11 wickets at 9.54.
The prime example: Amy Jones. The England opener entered the series in career-best form, coming off international scores of 79, 54, 76, 91, 18 and 80 in ODIs since March.
Perry has claimed her wicket during her first over of each match this series, for returns of 0, 5 and 0.
The allrounder puts her new-ball success down largely to the influence of Australia’s bowling coach – and Perry’s Sydney Sixers coach – Ben Sawyer, who has been working with the national team since their home series against New Zealand last September.
"I don't really think about Amy (Jones) to be honest, it is more about having some really clear plans about the way that we want to start," Perry said when asked about her approach to England’s opener.
"Ben Sawyer has been absolutely brilliant since he came in to work with the group - I worked with him back home in Australia too - he is the head coach at the Sydney Sixers and I think that he has really helped develop a lot of our players.
"It seems like there is a real clarity in the way that Shooter (Megan Schutt) comes out and bowls, and myself and then if Nic (Nicola Carey) or DK (Delissa Kimmince) or Tayla (Vlaeminck) are playing, everyone just knows their roles and that has been really nice."
Tall and athletic, Perry casts an imposing figure on the cricket field, be it with bat or ball.
She contributed 66 in the second ODI to back up her brilliance with the ball and scored a maiden ODI century in Adelaide earlier this year. With her favourite format on the horizon, Test cricket, her influence on this series could yet grow even stronger.
The last time Perry played a Test, at North Sydney Oval in late 2017, she scored a double century. Before that, at that match in Canterbury in 2015, it was a match-winning spell of 6-32 with the ball on day four.
If Perry has perfected her balance, there’s no telling what she might do in Taunton come July 18.
CommBank Ashes Tour of England
Australia lead England 6-0
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
England ODI squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt
July 2: Australia won by two wickets
July 4: Australia won by four wickets
July 7: Australia won by 194 runs
July 11-13: England Academy v Australia, Marlborough College, Swindon
July 18-21: Only Test, The County Ground, Taunton
July 26: First T20, County Ground, Chelmsford
July 28: Second T20, The County Ground, Hove
A Test victory is worth four points (two each for a draw), two points are awarded for ODI and T20 wins