Only Test 2005/06

Australia v India

Adelaide Oval, Adelaide: 8th – 20th February 2006

The team to take on India for a one off Test at the Adelaide Oval in February 2006 was a blend of the old and the new. By now the stalwarts were the Blackwell sisters, Alex and Kate, Lisa Sthalekar, Michelle Goszko, Shelley Nitschke and the ageless fast bowler, Cathryn Fitzpatrick. There was a new wicket keeper, Queenslander Jodie Purves.

India were an unknown quantity, save for batting wunderkind and captain, Mithali Raj. They also boasted a tall, strong, quick bowler in Jhulan Goswami.

Australia’s new captain Karen Rolton won the toss at the Adelaide Oval and batted. Conditions were good and the pitch inviting but things didn’t all go the home team’s way.

Australia lost Alex Blackwell, promoted to opener, for a duck, caught behind off the bowling of Goswami. Debutant Melissa Bulow was joined by the skipper and scored a measured 20 before being second out when the score was 54. A partnership then ensued between Rolton and Lisa Sthalekar before the skipper fell for 63 when the score was 110. (On a side note, Rolton’s innings saw her pass Belinda Clark’s record for most Test runs.)

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Sthalekar, the eventual top scorer with 72 was fast running out of partners. The Aussies were in disarray before a plucky knock of 43 not out from Jodie Purves, the debutant wicket keeper, batting at number nine. Australia were all out for 250, Goswami the leading wicket taker with 4-43 from 24 overs.

Goswami was a difficult bowler to face. She is very tall and that made her difficult to face. She bowled at good pace and hit the pitch hard. She moved the ball of the wicket. She is a fierce competitor and never gave you a loose ball so you had to work hard for your runs.” – Karen Rolton

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Debutant quick bowler Sarah Andrews removed both openers, before Fitzpatrick picked up the prize wicket of Mithali Raj for 16. Reeling at 3/41 after the demise of the skipper, India never recovered and were all out for 93. Captain Rolton immediately enforced the follow-on.

A marginally better showing in the second dig saw India score 153, but it was not enough to make Australia bat again and the home side won by an innings and 4 runs. Lisa Sthalekar was the star with the ball taking 5-30 in a dominant allrounder’s performance. A home victory, on Adelaide Oval no less, the perfect start to Rolton’s captaincy.

 “I was definitely happy with this start to my Captaincy and what made it even more special was that we were playing in my home state, South Australia and on Adelaide Oval too.”

Australia 250 (Sthalekar 72, Rolton 63, Fields 43*, Goswami 4-43) defeated India 93 (Jain 21, Fitzpatrick 3-24, Nitschke 2-9) and 153 (Dhar 38, Sthalekar 5-30) by an innings and 4 runs