Ellyse Perry's unbeaten 84 put Australia in a comfortable position, reaching 265 runs for the loss of three wickets at stumps on Day One of the one-off Test against England in the Women's Ashes here at the Cooper Associates County Ground on Thursday.
The only Test witnessed five debutants -- Tayla Vlaeminck, Ashleigh Gardner and Sophie Molineux for Australia, and Amy Jones and Kirstie Gordon for England.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat first in an all-important Test that offers four points to the winning side and two points each if drawn. England trail Australia by six points as the visitors had whitewashed the hosts in three-match ODI series.
Alyssa Healy and Nicole Bolton opened the proceedings for Australia. Fast bowler Katherine Brunt struck for England on the last ball of the seventh over as she knocked the stumps of Bolton (6), leaving the visitors at 25/1. Australia skipper Meg Lanning joined Healy and the duo carried their fearless game. Healy brought up their maiden Test fifty but soon after Gordon inaugurated her Test wickets column as she dismissed a well-settled Healy (58).
Lanning was joined by Perry and the skipper too brought up her first Test half-century. Soon after Sophie Ecclestone got a major breakthrough for England as she smashed the top of the off-stump of Lanning (57), leaving Australia to 160/3 after 53.1 overs.
Little did England know that the unbeaten 105-run fourth-wicket partnership between Perry and Rachael Haynes would leave them in frustration. With the right and left combination in the 22 yards, Australia dominated England for the rest of the day. Perry raised the bat to celebrate her second Test fifty after hitting a boundary to Anya Shrubsole.
After a miscommunication and a couple of run out chances, Haynes completed her second Test half-century. Perry seemed in her best-ever form and inched closer to register a century, but with 100 overs completed stumps were drawn. Perry (84*) and Haynes (54*) will resume the four-day Test later on Friday.
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