Women’s Ashes Test: Haynes and Lanning’s half-centuries take Australia to 327/7 on day one

Fifties from Rachael Haynes (86) and captain Meg Lanning (93) took Australia to 327/7 at stumps on the first day of the Women’s Ashes Test at Manuka Oval on Thursday. Meg and Rachel, who were dropped for 15 and 44 respectively, shared a 169-run partnership to save the hosts 43/3 in 14.5 overs.

But by the end of the day, England bowled out both and then sent Ashley Gardner and Tahlia McGrath back at the stroke of the stumps and were back in the day dominated by Australia.

After winning the toss, England made a great start in the first session.

Alyssa Healy was the first to fall for a duck, which gave wicketkeeper Amy Jones a lackluster outside edge off Katherine Brunt. In the very next over, Beth Mooney (3) went behind the outswinger off Anya Shrubsole. All-rounder Ellyse Perry was caught by Amy off Nat Sciver with a lead of 18 runs.

England was in danger of getting Australia out early but Meg and Rachel did not let it happen. With England dropping the catch, the duo motored well to reach their half-centuries. They could have easily reached their centuries in Test cricket if Katherine and Nat had not struck after being extremely consistent.

A net outswinger forced Meg to drive hard and England captain Heather Knight diving to her right caught her in the slip cordon. In the next over, Rachel poked a long delivery from Katherine and the thick outer edge carried Amy to the back.

Tahlia and Ashley joined forces to add 84 runs in just 134 balls in the final session. Ashley’s pressure-reducing half-century came to an end when an in-ducker from Katherine trapped her plumb in front of the stumps.

Tahlia continued to pile on the runs hitting Kate Cross for three fours and was lucky enough to be dropped to reach her half-century and the fourth of the innings. But a lapse in concentration prompted him to go for a drive, only to be sidelined for his fifth catch in the innings by Amy, giving the net his third scalp of the day.

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