PERRY HITS DOUBLE TON
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.”
Ellyse Perry celebrates reaching 100 at North
Sydney Oval yesterday.
A delighted Perry last night.