Test Match Report

Words and pictures by Ruth Conchie

The first battle of the Womens Ashes tour was won at 10am, when Charlotte Edwards won the toss and batted, seeing as according to Michael Vaughn only one Ashes test in the last year has not gone with the toss the toss winner has not lost and the loser has not won an Ashes test match.
Arran Brindle showed all of the experience of someone who has 448 test runs to her name, coming to the middle with the wicket of the skipper Charlotte Edwards, at the end a spell when three English wickets fell for four runs leaving the visitors reeling at 32 for three. Passing 50 with a boundary also brought Arran her 500th test run and with support from first Lydia Greenway 22, and then Natalie Sciver - scoring 49 on debut, the three left the score with more respectability at 189 for 7. Natalie Sciver batted with great composure and maturity, seemingly unaffected by the pressure of the situation, which may have had some in the crowd disbelieving that this was her test debut. The tail tried to wag, but failed at a game that they rarely see, as many normally only get to bat when they are following instructions to set or chase a score. Dani Hazell did best, reaching 15 from 69 balls and England to a total of 201, before it seemed the skipper sent out a message to play their more normal game, and the next ball brought the flashing blade and a catch to bring the innings to a close and returning test player Rene Farrell her fourth wicket, an unexpected haul given that she had failed to break through in the opening session, wickets falling to all the other quicks.

Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole bowled with aggression brought by the situation, in the 6 overs left in the day, especially Anya in only her second test, bringing a few wild deliveries but also two wickets, including that of the dangerous opener Meg Lanning, leaving the home side 9 for 2 wickets after 5.5 overs.

Some in the crowd of probably less that 500 might say the second wicket tips the scales Englands way, but the match is evenly poised, apart from the weather that is causing horse racing meetings to be cancelled with 44c forecast over the weekend, meaning an exceedingly hot hard day in the field for the tourists tomorrow. England may regret going in to this match with 3 front line seamers, plus 3 second line seamers and only one spinner, unless the skipper bowls herself, with her opposing number able to call on 25 overs of spin out of the total of 91.1.

Further Test Report : Day 2  : Day 3  :  Day 4