Aussies labouring for runs in Ashes
THE Friday night post-work crowd filed into North Sydney Oval just in time to catch Australia’s first innings warming up, and then slowing down.
Australia quickly mopped up England’s tail in the Ashes day-night Test when play resumed on the second day, needing just one hour to bowl the visitors out for 280.
Openers Beth Mooney and Nicole Bolton then came to the crease but it was a reserved start to Australia’s innings and by the second session the pressure started to mount.
Australia’s openers took their time and saw out the first session, but 15 minutes after the resumption things began to unravel at 0-48.
Bolton was the first to go, whacking a ball from spinner Laura Marsh to mid-wicket where Anya Shrubsole did well to hang on to the catch.
England had to wait only five overs for its next victim, Mooney playing an almost identical shot to a long-hop from spinner Sophie Ecclestone and picking out Nat Sciver in the same spot.
The evening crowd of 2325 lapped up the last of the afternoon sun on the hill and put their hopes on the experienced pairing of No.3 Alex Blackwell and all-rounder Ellyse Perry.
Blackwell made her Test debut in 2003 and is one of the few players, on either team, to have featured in more than 10.
But she fell leg before to Ecclestone for six and Australia slumped to 3-61.
Elyse Villani then brought a more positive attitude to the crease. She had made nine off 32 balls by the time dinner rolled around while Perry was on 16 as the pair added 23 for the fourth wicket.
Australia went to the dinner break at 3-84.