Thursday, 9 November 2017

Ashes Test - Day One - Talking Points

Who will be happier after the end of Day One? It has to be the Australians.

Midway through the second session England were 129/1 with Tammy Beaumont (70) and Heather Knight (62) seemingly in control. Within seven overs both were gone and England's innings began to stumble. Beaumont chased a wide leg-spinner from Wellington and edged it to slip, and Knight was harshly given out lbw sweeping at Jonassen.

At 214/4 England were still not in too bad a shape. True they had lost Nat Sciver, also to a somewhat dubious lbw decision, but Sussex pair Georgia Elwiss (27) (in for Gunn) and Sarah Taylor (29), batting at 6, seemed to have the measure of the pitch even if they were not scoring quickly, but then they both got out to Ellyse Perry playing ugly shots. With Brunt wafting a wide one to backward square England closed on 235/7 and had handed the advantage to Australia, who will look to knock them over for less than 250. England will now be pleased if they can get to 300.

It is not a disaster by any stretch of the imagination, but this looks a good batting pitch, even if the outfield is a little slow. 350-400 would have been a decent first innings score.

The positive is that the Aussies have had to field all day and will have to come out again tomorrow afternoon for at least one more stint. If England can take them beyond the first break that will be 8+ hours in the field, which is very sapping, particularly when you are not used to it. England will then need early wickets to get the Aussies on the back foot. If they can get them 20/2 chasing 315, then that will look a tall order.

As for the Aussies they generally bowled decent lines, but Ellyse Perry looked extremely tired as she bowled her last over. She was still good enough to react to Taylor's uppish straight drive and get an arm out to parry it up, so that she could catch it. Just when she seemed to be at a really low ebb.

For all her talk Amanda Wellington has no variation ball that she bowls. If its in her armoury then she is keeping it there....but when for? Last over of the day surely you bowl the googly if you have it? She didn't.

Schutt, McGrath and Jonassen toiled away solidly, with the latter two picking up two wickets each. But England will feel that they got themselves out, rather than they were got out. If he were dead then Geoff Boycott would be spinning in his grave!

All in all a decent day of Test cricket and nicely set up for Day Two.



  1. This was a little disappointing for England. Won toss, batted first etc etc.
    I heard more than one England player talk about playing positive cricket in this Test. Not much sign of that yet.
    England’s highest scoring rate was Knight’s at 55.86. To score a century at that rate takes 179 balls, to score a century at a rate of 33.00 takes 300 balls. So England players are backing themselves to survive a number of balls which way exceeds anything they have to survive in any other match. Why do they think they are going to able to do that ? The laws of probability says you won’t. You’ll get a jaffa, a crap umpire’s decision or plain tiredness takes over. I’m not advocating slogging (or criticising seeing off the first 10 overs) but I believe England would get higher Test match scores by adopting a more positive approach (especially when one needs time to bowl the opposition out twice within 4 days).

  2. Shrubsole & Brunt. Pink ball. Twilight. If Australia can handle that, it may be fair at that point to say they're ahead in the Test.