Australia’s women restored some national pride as they thrashed England by 161 runs in the lone Test of the multi-format female 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 at Canterbury in emphatic fashion, bowling England out for 101 in the second innings to secure a victory that leaves them on the verge of winning the Ashes.
Having already taken a 4-2 points 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 balls 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 on to her off stump to make it 12 for two.
Charlotte Edwards survived a huge second-ball appeal for leg before 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 ‘keeper.
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 for five.
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 six for 32 as England capitulated to the lowest all-out fourth innings score in any women’s Test.