Review - Day 1 | Ashes – Only Test | Old-stagers Lanning and Haynes set the dice rolling
Written By: Ritwika Dhar
Picture Courtesy: Mark Kolbe / Getty Images
After two out of the three T20I matches were washed out, the multi-format series’ points table looks like this - Australia – 4, England – 2. Both the teams lock horns to get the 4 points out of this sole test which can ensure a comeback for England and a title defense for Australia at the Manuka Oval.
After winning an important toss, England captain Heather Knight invited Australia to bat first. Australia handed out a debut cap to Alana King, the leg-spinner who recently made her international debut in the 1st T20I of this series. On the other hand, England also fielded a debutant, the young off-spinner Charlie Dean who also is having a similar ride like King on the international circuit.
Where Ellyse Perry made her comeback into the Aussie side, Megan Schutt couldn’t make the cut. On her surprising omission, Cricket Australia said that she is coming back from a bout of Covid. So, she’s under-conditioned and the management is reluctant to risk her with the ODIs and the World Cup to follow. Beth Mooney also made an incredible comeback after fracturing her jaw last week.
Knight’s bold call on toss well-supported by the pacers
Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole gave England a dream start as they nipped out Healy and Mooney respectively. With the score reading 4-2, in walked Ellyse Perry who was dismissed only once in 1016 deliveries in her last 5 Test innings. While she looked ominous again, her stay was cut short as Nat Sciver trapped her through a short-ball and she dismissed her on just 18 off 34. When everything was crumbling down around Haynes, captain Lanning joined her in the middle. Before the lunch break, Knight brought Ecclestone into the attack. After conceding two boundaries, Ecclestone created a chance, but skipper Heather Knight shelled a chance off her counterpart Lanning at the 1st slip.
Haynes-Lanning wrestle back control in the 2nd session
After the lunch break, the weird trend continued where the skipper Knight dropped the opposition skipper Lanning again and the vice-captain Sciver dropped the opposition vice-captain Haynes off Brunt. Both Lanning and Haynes cashed in on the lives they got. Both the batters dominated the 2nd session and scored 120 runs to help Australia move up to 199-3 at Tea.
The dramatic final session of the opening day
When both the batters were on the verge of their maiden test centuries, England fought back. Sciver broke their partnership of 169 runs by dismissing Lanning on 93. Vice-captain Haynes too didn’t last long after and threw her wicket away to Brunt after playing an exceptional knock of 86. Lanning’s acceleration was stand out. In the first 54 balls, she scored only 16 runs, but in the last 72 deliveries, she scored 59 runs.
After losing two important wickets, Aussies were not shy of counter-attacking the English bowlers. Tahlia McGrath and Ashleigh Gardner stitched up another 50+ partnership. Gardner scored her 2nd successive fifty before being dismissed by Brunt. McGrath continued her great form and scored her maiden test half-century. On the last ball of the day, McGrath played a rash shot and was dismissed. Her heroics with the bat (52 off 88) came to an end and Australia ended the day with 327-7.
Sciver and Brunt took 3 wickets each. England’s spinners went wicket-less as there wasn’t much help for them.
- Meg Lanning completed 150 matches as captain across the formats. She is only behind England’s Charlotte Edwards (220) and India’s Mithali Raj (183*).
- Perry became the 8th Australian to score 700 Test runs in Women’s tests.
- Tahlia McGrath scored her maiden test fifty.
- Brunt became the highest wicket-taker in Women’s Tests amongst the current bowlers.
- Amy Jones took a record five catches behind the stumps.