First Test 1998

England v Australia

Woodbridge Road, Guildford: 6th – 9th August 1998

The first of the three Test matches, England’s Karen Smithies won the toss and chose to bat on what was a very good wicket. The Aussie bowlers were made to toil hard.

England were 94 before the Australians made a breakthrough. Charlotte Edwards scored a bright 53 before hitting a catch to Olivia Magno from Bronwyn Calver. Fellow opener Jan Brittin continued, playing the innings of her life before being run out for 146. England amassed 414. Belinda Clark used eight bowlers including herself.

 “It’s a case of keeping people focused. The great thing about cricket is that it can twist and turn. I think the coach might have sent a message out to take myself out of the attack. It had got desperate! The wicket had nothing in it so if risks weren’t taken by the batters it was very hard to get a breakthrough. Jan Brittin was at her best this day.” – Clark

Magno picked up five of the England wickets to fall.

This was Olivia at her best. She was clever tactically and had good control. It was advantageous for us to bowl a lot of balls at them and Olivia was the answer – picking up wickets and also keeping the run rate under control.”

When the Australians came to bat, Clark went early, caught by Sue Redfern from the bowling of Lucy Pearson for 11. Lisa Keightley stayed around to score a half century, before she was caught and bowled by Charlotte Edwards. Karen Rolton was the second of Edwards’ wickets, LBW for 4, Australia 3/140. It went downhill for England from here, with Joanne Broadbent becoming the first Australian to score a Test double century. It was a long way from her debut in 1989/90 when she batted at 11. Before this innings, her best Test score was 36. At the other end of Broadbent’s double ton, Test debutant, now commentator, Mel Jones scored 131.

Joanne will go down as one of the most patient players I played with. She was always striving to do her best for the team and this was a great reward for all her hard work. It was a magnificent innings. Mel was equally impressive with her debut performance.” – Clark

For good measure, wicket keeper Julia Price chimed in with 80 and spinner Olivia Magno with 37, both not out. Australia were 6/569 when Clark declared. It was, and remains, the highest team total in women’s Test cricket.

The run feast from both teams meant the Test ended in a draw, with England 1/160 in the second innings, with both Edwards and Brittin passing the fifty mark.

England 414 (Brittin 146, Edwards 53, Magno 5-87) and 1/160 (Edwards 77, Brittin 59) drew with Australia 6/569 (Broadbent 200, Jones 131, Price 80*, Edwards 2-79)