Australian test debutant Jess Jonassen hit a steady unbeaten 95 to put the pressure on England in the only Women’s test match of the summer at Canterbury, where the visitors ended day one on 268-8.
Jonassen’s knock steadied Australia’s innings after Anya Shrubsole had earlier torn through the tourists’ attack, taking 4-59 – and at one point reducing the score to 99-5.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat in the solitary test of the multi format series – which Australia lead after winning two of the three ODIs - and got off to a solid start with Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton reaching their half-century stand off 95 balls.
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However it was Shrubsole that put England in the driving seat, claiming the scalps of Villiani and influential captain Meg Lanning in identical fashion – both caught at first slip by Heather Knight after finding an edge.
After lunch, Shrubsole also accounted for test-debutant Bolton, knocking over her leg stump as the opener looked to play one through the on side - without adding to the score after the interval.
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Shortly after, Perry, who has been in great form so far this series, could only contribute five to the scoreboard before becoming Shrubsole’s fourth victim – sending a bat-pad catch through to wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor, expertly taking a smart catch behind the stumps.
Australia’s fifth wicket had a hint of bad luck about it however, as Alex Blackwell was adjudged to have been trapped LBW by Katherine Brunt for seven - despite replays showing the ball potentially creeping down the leg side.
Next in was Jonassen – who could have been excused if she had choked on the big stage considering the position her side were in – however she showed calmness often displayed by an experienced higher order batter, sharing a 77-run sixth wicket partnership with wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy.
The Sothern Stars all-rounder played an array of classy, positive shots for her 95, flashing the ball to all parts and clawing the momentum back in the favour of the visitors alongside contributions from Megan Schutt and Kirsten Beams – who resumes tomorrow on 24.
Jonassen needs just five runs to complete her maiden test century when play resumes tomorrow morning – whereas Shrubsole needs only one wicket to take her first five-wicket haul in test cricket.
Shrubsole told BBC’s Test Match Special that the game is still wide open, despite Jonassen’s day one heroics.
"It's probably an even day and both teams will be happy. In an ideal world we would've liked to have picked up the last two wickets but Jess played brilliantly. If a number 10 can play like that then it shows it's clearly not a bad track."
Jonassen told TMS of her delight after her scintillating debut knock.
"We're in a really good position and hopefully we can score a few runs quickly on Wednesday and get some joy with the ball."
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