Perry’s unbeaten double century takes Australia a step closer to retaining Ashes
Ellyse Perry batted England out of the Women’s Ashes Test with an unbeaten double hundred. The all-rounder navigated Australia from trouble through parity and on to dominance with her flawless 213 not out.
The visitors entered for the final day – the Test is scheduled to end early today UK time – with all their wickets in hand but 128 runs in the red.
With the hosts in a strong position to retain the trophy, Heather Knight’s side still had high hopes of cleaning up the second half of Australia’s innings with a healthy first-innings lead. With 103 runs to play with, it was vital they struck early. But with wicketkeeperbatsman Alyssa Healy riding shotgun, the Australians set the tone with four boundaries in the first four overs.
Despite the second new ball having brought rewards for Katherine Brunt the previous evening, Knight opted for left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone to resume instead with Anya Shrubsole. It backfired. With Perry using the depth of the crease to cut precisely, and Healy twice depositing England bowlers into the crowd, the visitors suffered a wicketless and damaging opening hour, conceding 56 runs. Perry reached her hundred with a glance off Laura Marsh. Healy didn’t last long after the 100 partnership was raised, on 45 miscuing Marsh to mid-off, where Shrubsole took a fine catch with England 10 runs to the good. But Knight failed to do likewise when Tahlia McGrath gifted her a chance at cover, and it was costly.
The two all-rounders sucked the life out of England’s attack in the middle session, completing another triple-figure stand that ran until McGrath pinged a full toss from Georgia Elwiss to Nat Sciver at midwicket on 47.
Perry moved the board along on her own measured terms to reach her 150 milestone before dinner. She then be- came the first Australian woman to join the Test 200 club when batting with No11 Megan Schutt.
On 194, she tried to clear the boundary for the first time in her 474-minute stay. Deceived by the crowd’s response, she celebrated as though she had, but replays showed it dropping just short. But she made it the next over and added a big six before Rachael Haynes declared with 17 overs remaining. England openers Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield survived, but with 100 overs at Australia’s disposal, England needed plenty more where that came from to save the game and keep the series alive.