Test Match Report : Day 2

Words and pictures by Ruth Conchie

The end of the second day of the sole Women's Ashes test left those watching with a feeling of deja-vu, only in reverse; a message went out, the tempo was upped followed by a little session for the bowlers to get a couple of bonus wickets, only this time England were on the receiving end, finishing on 18 for 3, only 12 runs ahead, having lost the wickets of Knight, Greenway and Taylor, leaving the Brindle/Sciver partnership to drop anchor yet again.

Australia pose for a team photo

England toiled well in 40+ heat, with the stands mostly empty and the few spectators huddled in the air conditioned bars. Brunt suffered in an unusual way, one assumes from the heat, removed from the attack at the start of her tenth over, immediately after lunch, after a second ball slipped out of her hand, resulting in her second beamer no-ball. This left Shrubsole and Cross to pick up more than their expected share of the afternoons work, Cross in particular seizing the mettle and bowling four overs from the other end for zero runs whilst also including the vital and her third wicket of Fields, Australia's captain.

England warm-up in the shade!

And 'huddle' there too!

Fields had rescued the aussies, along with Perry their top-scorer, from an ashes familiar top order batting collapse, in the face of some fierce quick bowling from Shrubsole, Cross and Brunt, climbing back from 37-5 to 92-6 when Fields fell, and 177-7 when Perry became Gunns only victim of the day, bowled, in the last but one over of her days work that had included 18 overs, umpteen maidens and only 14 runs, a spell of 6 in a row and captaining for much of the last part of the day, plus a fantastic catch.
Shrubsole ended with four wickets and the chance of a five-for from what was her last ball of the day, the final wicket falling into her hands at fine leg, off a top edge from Farrells bat, ending the Australian innings with a lead of just six runs and giving Sciver a wicket on debut, having bowled 10 overs.
Lottie left the field after skidding on the ground, inspected by the pyhsio at one of the longer and more frequent drinks breaks due to the weather, and therefore could not bat in the start of the second innings. The only communication was that it was knee related, but how serious will be seen with time. Tomorrow promises more heat, maybe a couple of degrees down, but still substantially hotter than many of the England players will have seen.

Further Test Report : Day 1 :  Day 3  :  Day 4