England v Australia
Sir Paul Getty’s Ground, Wormsley: 11th – 14th August 2013
Australia’s Jodie Fields won the toss at the picturesque Sir Paul Getty’s Ground at Wormsley and elected to bat on what was a good wicket for batting.
The Test was set over four days. Australia would field four debutants to Test cricket, but who were no strangers to the other shorter formats in international cricket. Fast bowlers Megan Schutt and Holly Ferling were making their debuts alongside spin bowler Erin Osborne. The fourth new player would open the batting, Meg Lanning from Melbourne, Victoria. Missing from the Aussie team for the first time in a long time was Lisa Sthalekar.Embed from Getty Images
“I was always excited to being playing Test Matches for Australia. It was a new experience not having Lisa Sthalekar in the team, as an accomplished spinner and her experience was obviously invaluable however I felt we had the team to achieve the result. ” – Jodie Fields
Heroine from 2009, Rachael Haynes, was now opening the batting with the newcomer Lanning, but was out early for just 10 runs. Sarah Elliott joined Lanning and the two had no trouble with the England bowlers and in fact the next wicket was a runout, Lanning gone for 48. Jess Cameron scored an even 50 before she was out at 167, which was followed by a 99 run partnership between Elliott and Alex Blackwell. Elliott was out for 104, her debut century in Test cricket. The skipper came and went for 6, before Blackwell too was out, for a gritty half century. Fields declared the Australian innings 6/331.Embed from Getty Images
England lost wickets at regular intervals but were held together by a glorious knock of 157 by Heather Knight, her first century in Test cricket, besting her previous high of 19 runs. While Knight was holding one end up, she was beginning to run out of partners before Laura Marsh joined her when the score was 6/113. This was the chance for Australia to snuff the England innings out but Marsh clung on like a limpet and stayed with Knight to record a century partnership. It wasn’t pretty, in fact very slow scoring, but a batting recovery is rarely all that attractive in terms of stroke play.
“Heather Knight’s innings was probably the real start to her England career and showed what a disciplined and resilient player she is and now she is England Captain.” – FieldsEmbed from Getty Images
Knight was eventually runout when the score was 269, while Marsh plodded along til the score was 303, out bowled by Megan Schutt for a stubborn 55 from 304 balls. Had Australia been able to remove Marsh, it would have blown the game wide open in Australia’s favour.
“We definitely thought we were in with a chance, however that is Test cricket for you – that is why it’s such a good game to play and watch because the momentum of teams changes all the time throughout the match. You have to continue to fight every ball to get wickets and score runs.” – Fields
Australia went for quick runs to set up a chase and while every player who batted made double figures, it was only Fields who went on to make a score, 78 not out when she declared at 5/231. Time was on nobody’s side and England were 2/93 when stumps were drawn on the final day. Had Australia been able to shut England down in the first innings it would have been a different story altogether.
Australia 6/331 (Elliott 104, Blackwell 54, Cameron 50, Shrubsole 2-57) and 5/231 (Fields 78*, Gunn 2-11) drew with England 314 (Knight 157, Marsh 55, Osborne 4-67) and 2/93