Only Test 2013/14

Australia v England

WACA Ground, Perth: 10th – 13th January 2014

Having just the one warm up match the England team would back up for the only Test of the summer, at the WACA Ground in Perth. Both teams were well known to each other, having played just six months earlier. The well known pace-friendly wicket generally a happy hunting ground for Australia and her quick bowlers. It was a good attack with Ellyse Perry, Rene Farrell and Holly Ferling. Australia’s batting was largely unchanged, save for the addition of Elyse Villani.

Equally, England had a class pace bowling line-up in Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole and newcomer Kathryn Cross. England’s batting was probably stronger on paper, with Charlotte Edwards and Heather Knight at the top, followed by Sarah Taylor, Lydia Greenway, Arran Brindle and newcomer Nat Sciver.

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Edwards won the toss and chose to bat. Ellyse Perry and Rene Farrell made life difficult for the openers and runs were hard and slow to come by. It was Holly Ferling who took the first wicket, that of Heather Knight for 14 when the score was 21. Perry quickly removed Sarah Taylor for 1 and soon after Sarah Coyte removed the captain, Charlotte Edwards, putting England in the awkward position of 3/32. Brindle and Greenway rallied with a 64 run partnership, followed by another between Brindle and Sciver, taking the score to 154. The lower order scratched around for another 47 runs and England were all out for 201.

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It was a good result in the field for Australia but they failed to get off to a good start with the bat. Anya Shrubsole removed Lanning and Villani in quick succession, leaving the home team 2/9.

It got worse. Cameron, Blackwell and Elliott fell cheaply and Australia was 5/37 with Fields and Perry at the crease. Hadn’t we been down this road before? The skipper partnered with Perry to take the score to 92 before Fields was out for 43. Osborne then took over where her captain left off and joined with Perry in rescuing the innings. Perry eventually fell for 71 and Osborne for 40 as Australia were all out for 207, enjoying a slender 6 run lead.

Farrell and Perry blasted out England’s top three and the visitors were in real strife at 3/10. A recovery by the middle order saw England scramble to 190 all out with Charlotte Edwards scoring 56. Perry took 5-38 and Farrell 3-34 in a dominating display by the two quicks.

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It left Australia to score 185 to win, gettable, but difficult on the pacy WACA wicket and it proved to be a bridge too far. England’s own pace attack routed the Aussie batters and they folded for just 123. Brunt, Shrubsole, Cross and Gunn created havoc from 1 to 11 and won the Test for England by 63 runs. It was Jodie Fields final Test match as captain.

My final Test match at Perth was a disappointing result – we came there with high hopes for a great series and unfortunately our batting did let us down. I love playing at the WACA and was disappointed I couldn’t help stay there longer to ensure we scored a competitive total. Perry played a great innings but at the end of the day England were too strong in that match.”

Perry’s allround performance of 102 runs and eight wickets proved that she was a player who was of rare ability and a portent of things to come on the world cricket stage. The remainder of the Ashes campaign was hard fought, and Australia got to within two points of England, but ultimately the Old Enemy was triumphant and won the Ashes.

England 201 (Brindle 68, Sciver 49, Farrell 4-43, Perry 3-41) and 190 (Edwards 56, Perry 5-38, Farrell 3-34) beat Australia 207 (Perry 71, Fields 43, Shrubsole 4-51, Cross 3-35) and 123 (Perry 31, Shrubsole 3-48, Cross 3-35) by 63 runs