Elliott Close To Ton After Opening Day
Australia 243-3 (Elliott 95no) v England
Women's Ashes Test, Wormsley, day one
Sarah Elliott closed day one of the Women's Ashes Test unbeaten on 95 as Australia closed on 243 for three against England at Wormsley.
Elliott, who was named in Australia's Test squad only, justified her return to international cricket following the birth of her son, with a career-best innings.
On a pitch that was ripe for batting, Australia won the toss and were made to work hard by England but with Elliott leading the way, set themselves a platform to go on and make a competitive score.
Jess Cameron (50) and Meg Lanning (48) supported Elliott, who batted for most of the day, coming in at number three when Rachael Haynes was bowled by Anya Shrubsole.
While Shrubsole (1-42) and Katherine Brunt (0-28) asked several questions with the new ball, the bowlers that followed allowed Australia to get away, with Lanning hitting eight fours before she was run out following a mix-up with Elliott and a good piece of work from Brunt.
After lunch, England tightened things up, Jenny Gunn finishing with figures of nought for 34 with 12 of her 21 overs being maidens.
Elliott and Cameron added 80 for the third wicket which came when Laura Marsh trapped Cameron in front but Alex Blackwell, unbeaten on 29, ensured that there would be no further celebrations for England, who endured a long day in the field.
Elliott faced 245 balls to reach 95 while Blackwell occupied 119 deliveries, and at stumps, Elliott paid tribute to the the way England had bowled, forcing her to work for her runs.
"The bowlers, I thought, did a great job bowling really tight lines. The pitch definitely had a bit in it early, which is really exciting for our bowlers. But then it’s a really great pitch once you’re in, I think it’s a great opportunity to cash in," she said.
“I’m really really pleased to be back in the team, it’s a great group to be around and it’s really nice to know that I can contribute in this format of the game," she added.
Shrubsole, making her Test debut, talked about how special it was to play Test cricket against Australia for the first time.
"Any time you make your debut is amazing and to make it here in an Ashes Test in such amazing surroundings is a pretty special day. Obviously to get my first Test wicket was an great experience and I’m just pleased to be able to contribute to the team," she said.
"It’s a good pitch to bat on but I think we can be really pleased with the way we’ve bowled and kept them to less than two and a half an over on what is a fairly flat pitch. We’re really happy with the run-rate, so hopefully if we can come out hard tomorrow morning we expect that the Australians might come out quite hard and try to up that run-rate, so the opportunity for wickets will increase.
"It was a really good crowd to play in front of. You looked round and pretty much everywhere was full, it’s just an amazing ground to play at. Hopefully the fans have enjoyed the day’s cricket."
© Cricket World 2013
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