Two impressive spells by Australian pace bowler Megan Schutt has left the tourists in command of events at the end of day two of the women’s Ashes Test in Canterbury.
The 22-year-old from Adelaide sent down 18.4 overs – 11 of which were maidens – to finish with four for 26, as England were dismissed for 168 to leave the tourists with a first innings lead of 106.
On a chilly, rain-protracted August day, Schutt’s naggingly accurate right-armed seamers helped Australia take a grip on this sole Ashes Test.
Having produced a corker to dismiss England skipper Charlotte Edwards, she returned with a post-tea four-over stint of two for nought before returning for a third stint to polish off the England response.
Having survived one over before lunch, England’s pursuit of Australia’s 274 for nine declared soon hit the rails after the resumption when Ellyse Perry struck twice in her opening over.
Lauren Winfield fenced at a lifting away-swinger to edge through to wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy via the shoulder of the bat and depart for one. Next ball, Sarah Taylor, pushing half-forward and outside the line of a shooting off-cutter, went lbw for a duck.
Edwards marched in to see off Perry’s hat-trick delivery and, in the 11th over, leant into a crisp cover drive against Schutt to post her 1000th run in Test cricket against Australia.
But it was Schutt who had the last laugh.
She produced an almost unplayable delivery that swung in through the air, only to hold its line off the pitch and beat Edwards – the ball passed the right-hander’s outside edge and feathered off stump, knocking off only the one bail.
Nat Sciver joined forces with England Test debutant Georgia Elwiss to add a further 32 runs before Australia took three wickets inside five overs.
Schutt had Laura Marsh, another Kent player, caught behind without scoring, when the right-hander pushed defensively with an angled bat to be caught behind.
At the start of day two Queensland’s left-hander Jonassen suffered Ashes heartbreak after being dismissed for 99 on Test debut. The 22-year-old, who was 95 not out overnight, added only four runs before being snared lbw by England seamer Brunt.
A 90-minute delay to steady drizzle at the start of the day cannot have helped Jonassen’s nerves as she pushed half-forward on the drive to a Brunt in-swinger.
Her dismissal sparked Australia’s declaration on 274 leaving England to face one over before lunch.
Schutt said the day panned out the way Australia had planned, “We wanted to hit our bowling lines today, play some boring cricket and defend our 274 as hard as we could. We went out there with that plan and it came off.
“We’re can be attacking from here on, play our own brand of cricket.”
England skipper Lydia Greenway said, “We’ll have to go out tomorrow feeling fresh and look to take early wickets. If we can make sure we’re disciplined with the ball then you never know how they might bat.
“We’ll chase what we’re set, it’s not more complicated than that. We’ll play to the situation of the game and give it our all.”