Australia’s women restored some national pride on Friday as they thrashed England by 161 runs in the lone Test of the multi-format Ashes.
After Australia’s men surrendered the Ashes last week with a fourth Test defeat that left them 3-1 down in the five-match series against England, it was left to their female counterparts to show them how to do it.
They won the women’s Test in Canterbury in emphatic fashion, bowling England out for 101 in the second innings to secure the victory that leaves them on the verge of winning the Ashes. Having already taken a 4-2 lead after the one-day international leg of the series, they now lead 8-2 and need to win or draw just one of three Twenty20 internationals to take the urn.
“This Test match was massive for us. We knew it would put us in the box seat,” Australia captain Meg Lanning told Test Match Special. “Winning the Ashes is the one thing that we haven’t been able to do in the last five years. We came here really confident.”
Having been set an improbable victory target of 263 from 89 overs — which would have been a women’s world record pursuit — England’s tough task became nigh-on impossible after the loss of two wickets in six deliveries just prior to lunch.
Opener Heather Knight departed LBW after pushing outside the line of a Sarah Coyte inswinger, then Sarah Taylor bagged a pair when dragging a lavish drive against Ellyse Perry onto her off stump to make it 12-2.
Charlotte Edwards survived a huge second-ball appeal for LBW by Perry, but England’s demise gathered momentum immediately after lunch when the home captain chased the first ball of the session from Perry to edge to the wicketkeeper.
England lost two more wickets before they had 30 runs on the board, then Lydia Greenway and Georgia Elwiss briefly delayed the hosts’ defeat with a 32-over partnership worth 51 as England reached tea on 76-5.
However, England lost their last five wickets for 23 runs in the space of 61 deliveries.
Their chief destroyer was pace bowler Perry, who returned Test-best figures of 6-32 as England capitulated to the lowest all-out fourth innings score in any women’s Test.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
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