The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SUNDAY SPORTS - BEN HORNE

ELL­YSE Perry last night ce­mented her place as one of the gi­ants of Aus­tralian sport, smash­ing a record dou­ble cen­tury to put the South­ern Stars on top in the day-night Ashes Test against Eng­land.

The greats al­ways have an im­pec­ca­ble sense of tim­ing and it was no dif­fer­ent for Perry yes­ter­day as she ham­mered out the first hun­dred of her in­ter­na­tional ca­reer be­fore surg­ing on to post a match-turn­ing 213 not out — the high­est score by an Aus­tralian woman.

Perry, the dual-in­ter­na­tional phe­nom­e­non and only Aus­tralian to ever rep­re­sent her coun­try at a World Cup in two dif­fer­ent sports, has been a house­hold name for more than a decade but last night marked her finest hour.

She lifted Aus­tralia from early cri­sis to a pow­er­ful po­si­tion of 9-448 de­clared on day three, set­ting up a com­mand­ing 168-run lead for the hosts with a day to play.

By stumps that ad­van­tage was down to 128, with Eng­land 0-40 and giv­ing ev­ery in­di­ca­tion they will fight tooth and nail on a slow­ing, de­te­ri­o­rat­ing pitch for a draw which they need to keep the Ashes alive with the three Twen­ty20s to come.

In ex­tra­or­di­nary scenes at a buzzing North Syd­ney Oval, Perry was down to her last bat­ting part­ner, Me­gan Schutt (1 not out), when she slogged one over mid-wicket on 194 for what she thought was a mile­stone-mak­ing six.

How­ever, her ju­bi­lant cel­e­bra­tions were quelled when re­plays showed the shot was only worth four.

Af­ter a sin­gle it was up to No. 11 Schutt to bunt out the rest of the over to give Perry an­other shot. The very next over Perry nailed her op­por­tu­nity on take two, drilling a four straight down the ground to be­come only the fourth Aus­tralian in his­tory to notch a dou­ble ton with a score that will stand the test of time as the third-high­est score in women’s his­tory — over­tak­ing Karen Rolton’s 209 not out in 2001 as the all-time high by an Aussie.

This all from a girl who started out as a spe­cial­ist fast bowler.

“That was the sec­ond-most em­bar­rass­ing thing for me this Test,” said Perry of her pre­ma­ture 200 cel­e­bra­tion.

“It came out off the mid­dle OK but the crowd just com­pletely fooled me. I lost sight of it … but the guys on the hill kind of cheered like it was six so I went with it and it wasn’t un­til all my the­atrics fin­ished that the um­pires men­tioned they were check­ing to see whether it went for six. Woops.

“It was fun. I think that’s prob­a­bly the best way to de­scribe it. I had an amaz­ing time out there today bat­ting with all the girls.

“More than any­thing I think what’s been the big­gest thrill of my ca­reer has been the peo­ple who have come to this match and the at­mos­phere that has been cre­ated.”

Pic­ture: Phil Hillyard

Ell­yse Perry cel­e­brates reach­ing 100 at North

Syd­ney Oval yes­ter­day.

A de­lighted Perry last night.

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