Aussies labour­ing for runs in Ashes

The Weekend Post - - Sport - FIONA BOLLEN

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.

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