First Test 2001

England v Australia

Denis Compton Oval, Shenley: 24th – 26th June 2001

England captain Clare Connor won the toss and elected to bat. That was the only victory for Connor and England that day as an inspirational spell of bowling by Cathryn Fitzpatrick, backed up by Charmaine Mason, Therese McGregor and Olivia Magno, saw England dismissed for just 103. Fitzpatrick took 5-29.

It was a commanding performance. I’ve spoken a lot about the need to bat with some urgency, but you also need to break into the opposition quickly and this is what we struggled to do in the previous visit.” – Belinda Clark

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Down, but not out, England removed Clark for 9 and the dangerous Karen Rolton for a duck, to leave the Aussies floundering at 2/21. The debutant Michelle Goszko then joined Lisa Keightley and the two of them took Australia past England’s score and in the process a century partnership. Keightley was out for 36 before another debutant, Louise Broadfoot, joined Goszko and the two of them shared a fifty partnership before Broadfoot was out for 24, with the score at 4/178.

Julia Price came and went for a duck and the only player seeming to enjoy the conditions was Michelle Goszko, who with the aid of the tail, manufactured a double century. On debut! Goszko had broken the previous record for the highest score on debut when she had passed 131, scored by Mel Jones on the previous tour.  She was eventually the last wicket to fall, for 204 and the Aussies had a sizable total of 344 and a whopping lead of 241.

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Clark then changed things up a bit. She opened the bowling with the pace of Fitzpatrick and the spin of Magno. It worked a treat. England were no match, all out for 101, giving Australia victory by an innings.

Just to change it up. She (Magno) bowled well with the new ball. She was tight and it provided extreme mix of pace with Fitzpatrick at one end and Magno at the other. I often took the approach of working out what I would least like as player in the opposition. Having the 2 best bowlers on early and be able to follow the next quick down wind behind Fitzpatrick meant I could keep pressure on the openers.”

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Clark had finally broken the drought and scored her first victory as Test captain, an emphatic win by an innings and 140 runs. Goszko was joint Player of the Match with England captain, Clare Connor.

England 103 (Lowe 23, Fitzpatrick 5-29, Magno 2-13, McGregor 2-13) and 101 (Harper 20, Magno 3-16, Fitzpatrick 3-33, McGregor 2-7) lost to Australia 344 (Goszko 204, Connor 5-65) by an innings and 140 runs