Only Test 2007/08

Australia v England

Bradman Oval, Bowral: 15th – 18th February 2008

At the picturesque Bradman Oval at Bowral, in the southern highlands of NSW, Charlotte Edwards won the toss and sent Australia in to bat. There was a little bit of grass in the wicket and some low cloud cover. Australian skipper Karen Rolton indicated that she too would have bowled first had she won the toss. As the cricket ensued, both would have been correct in their decision making.

Isa Guha and Nicki Shaw opened the bowling and very quickly made inroads into the Australian batting line-up. Alex Blackwell was clean bowled by Guha for 1 run, just three balls into the innings. Melissa Bulow was out soon after for 11 and was followed quickly by Rolton, Lisa Sthalekar, and Shelley Nitschke. Australia were reeling at 5/59 when the debutant Ellyse Perry joined the more experienced Kate Blackwell. These two hung around stubbornly and nudged the score to 109 before Laura Marsh fired a return to Sarah Taylor leaving Perry short of her ground. The youngster had played a patient and mature knock of 21 runs from 77 balls in 79 minutes.

Stand-in keeper Leonie Coleman also hung around with Blackwell, but when she went for 13 it was 7/137 and then quickly 8/138 when Blackwell was runout for a fighting 45 runs. With not much to follow, Australia was gunned out for 154. Guha and Shaw had made the most of the conditions on offer, Guha taking 5-40 from 18.5 overs while Shaw was particularly difficult to score from, taking 2-18 from 19 overs.

Obviously we would have been looking to bat for longer and score more runs which we didn’t so that was disappointing. We needed to dig in more and do the hard work to get through the difficult period. We always believed in our bowlers though and that we could defend any total, so we still gave ourselves a chance in this Test. Have to give credit to their bowlers though who bowled exceptionally well.” – Rolton

England would have been feeling chuffed at the end of the day, 0/22, but the following morning the Aussies hit back, first through Perry, finding the edge of Caroline Atkins bat through to Coleman, and Emma Sampson bowling Beth Morgan. At 2/26 the Aussies were back in the hunt, but the old pair of Edwards and Claire Taylor put paid to any of that and the two experienced batters guided England past Australia’s score before they lost another wicket. At 2/185 England were in the box seat before Perry dismissed the England captain for 94. Sthalekar then removed Taylor for 79. The England team which was on course for a score in excess of 300 collapsed to be all out for 244.

The Aussies were back in the game, however England pace bowler Isa Guha had other ideas. By the time Australia had wiped off 34 from the deficit, both openers and Rolton were back in the shed, courtesy of the quick bowler from Buckinghamshire. A rescue mission bankrolled by Lisa Sthalekar with 98, with contributions from Nitschke (36) and Kate Blackwell (33) helped Australia out of trouble, but the tail failed to wag and Australia could only muster 231, a far way short of providing England with a difficult total to chase. Needing just 144, again Perry was a nuisance early on, but England scored the required runs with just four wickets down and Australia had lost the Test match by six wickets. Charlotte Edwards had engineered another victory over Australia.

 “Great Captain for her side, always led from the front especially with her batting. Fierce competitor and she would always do everything in her power to win games of cricket.” – Rolton

Australia 154 (K Blackwell 45, Guha 5-40) and 9/231(Sthalekar 98, Guha 4-60, Colvin 3-42) lost to England 244 (Edwards 94, SC Taylor 79, Sthalekar 3-48) and 4/144 (SC Taylor 64*) by 6 wickets