Test Match Report : Day 3

Words and pictures by Ruth Conchie

The third day brought deja vu for the third day in a row, hot with wickets at the end!
The day started with Brindle and Sciver surviving the first hour without loss, Sciver falling to Perry just before the second drinks break for 23, cementing a good debut game, aiding Brindle in moving the score from 10/3 to 64. Brindle also fell to Perry, lbw for 35 on 73 leaving Jenny Gunn to accompany a rampant Charlotte Edwards, showing little ill sign of the knee problems that had forced her from the field the evening before, but for a few extra stretches. They made it to lunch, with 75 runs scored, just maybe just, England's session.

Charlotte Edwards stretches after reaching a half century

After more stretches, Edwards was pretty quickly to her 8th test 50, helped somewhat by the decision to bowl the part-time spinner Elliott, but fell to a frantic and multiple appeal by Perry for leg before, the score taken to 158 and the lead past 150. Gunn was joined by Hazell, but this time it was Gunn who marshalled the tail, passing her previous test best of 41, becoming spinner Osbournes only wicket of the innings for 44. The final two wickets managed to get the total to 190, Cross becoming Perry’s fifth victim for 5-58, leaving the Aussie requiring 185 to gain the six points available for the test match in this multi-format ashes series.

England celebrate Kate Cross' 2nd wicket

Vilani has fallen twice in the last week to Shrubsole, but the Aussie openers swapped with Lanning taking the non-strikers end, leaving Vilani to benefit from some wayward bowling from Brunt, nine including two boundaries from the first over, giving her the confidence to reach the boundary three more time, giving a hard chance to Taylor behind the stumps, before sky-ing the ball behind the slips where Sciver showed another of her all round talents in taking the catch – 28/0 became 28/1, Vilani 21 from 22 with Lanning having seven.

Charlotte Edwards and Jenny Gunn make it to lunch

Shrubsole was being threatening from the pavilion or river end, but unlucky, with Brunt being swapped out for Cross and then taking Vilani’s wicket on her return. The attack soon settled with Cross from the far end using the late afternoon breeze, well know to the locals, and Gunn giving little to hit from the pavilion end.

Kate Cross in action

After 14 overs, Lanning and Elliott had moved to 36 for 1, with 11 and 4 respectively, what followed was a period of 8 overs for 15 runs and 4 wickets falling, with Cross at one point being on a hat-trick. Lanning got a feather through to Taylor for 15, Cameron trying to play her first ball through mid-wicket gave a catch to Knight at first slip with Blackwell surviving the hat-trick ball but not her fifth ball from Cross, again through to Taylor, although it took an age for the umpire to agree with the England players. Three wickets fell with the score on 40.

Charlotte Edwards and Arran Brindle in step

This brought the Australian skipper to the middle, who has been a calming and steadying influence in the last couple of tests and so it was for five overs, five scoring shots, one run out chance and what was called unbelievable and brilliant piece of work behind the stumps as this time Gunn bowled down leg, Fields lifted one foot and the bails were removed and the finger raised at square-leg – no replays here, given with the naked eye. one of those scoring shots was chased and saved from the boundary rope by the skipper, although yet again she ended the day off the field – hopefully precautionary.

A victorious England side leave the field

Tomorrow brings lower temperatures, the mercury was falling all day, but the overnight ‘low’ was a record since records began. England have all day or 100 overs to take 5 wickets on a pitch that apparently is cracking much as the mens ashes wicket did, but Elliott is a test specialist and made a century in the last ashes test at Womsley and Perry the top-scorer in the first innings. Yet again the first hour will be crucial – back to deja vu!

Further Test Report : Day 1 :  Day 2   :  Day 4