Sat, Aug 15, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Australia extend lead over England

AFP, LONDON

Australia’s Meg Lanning dejectedly walks off after being dismissed in their women’s Ashes Test against England in Canterbury, England, on Thursday.

Photo: Reuters

Australia are to head into the fourth and final day of their lone one-off women’s Test with a lead of 196 and six wickets standing after England fought back between the downpours in Canterbury on Thursday.

Rain meant only 38 overs were possible on the third day, with Australia getting through to stumps on 90-4.

Test debutant Jess Jonassen, who made 99 in the first innings, was 29 not out.

England already need a world record run-chase in women’s Test cricket if they are to win this match.

This is a multi-format Ashes, in contrast to the men’s version, which saw England take an unbeatable 3-1 lead in a five-match series with victory by an innings and 78 runs in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge last weekend.

Australia’s women are currently four points to two in front after the one-day international leg of the series, and there are four points out of a remaining 10 on offer to the winners of the lone Test.

They already had a substantial first-innings lead of 106 when play resumed under grey skies on Thursday.

However, Australia lost opener Elyse Villani for a duck when she was bowled by England quick Katherine Brunt.

Her next over saw Brunt bowl Australia captain Meg Lanning, also out for naught, to leave the visitors two for two after three overs.

Thunderstorms and lightning strikes then halted play for four hours. When the match resumed, Anya Shrubsole had Ellyse Perry well caught by wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor for 13 to leave Australia 19-3.

Nicole Bolton fell next, looping a catch to cover off a Kate Cross delivery that bounced out of the bowlers’ rough.

It seemed England had a fifth wicket when Alex Blackwell, on nine, caught at slip by Heather Knight off Brunt.

Blackwell was given out and had almost walked off the field when Australia called for the first review in women’s Test cricket history.

Third umpire Martin Saggers, after lengthy study, eventually decided there was sufficient doubt to recall Blackwell, who was 15 not out when rain finally put paid to the day’s play.

“We’ve definitely got the caliber of players in our order to post a really good total, come out tomorrow, play with intent and put England under pressure,” Bolton said.

Brunt added: “We put ourselves on the back foot after two days, so we were determined to come out here and turn things around.”

“That’s exactly what we’ve done, and we’ll come out with a lot more batting positivity tomorrow,” she added.

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