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Jess Jonassen leads Australia fightback

Jess Jonassen hits out on the opening day of the Women's Ashes Test
Jess Jonassen hits out on the opening day of the Women's Ashes Test
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Australia Women 268-8 (Jonassen 95no) v England Women
Women's Ashes Test, Canterbury, day one

Jess Jonassen struck a defiant unbeaten 95 to take Australia to stumps on day one of the Women's Ashes Test in Canterbury on 268 for eight after England had earlier reduced them to 99 for five.

Australia won the toss and chose to bat first only for England's bowlers to have the better of the early part of the day and leave the tourists in trouble.

Anya Shrubsole took four for 59 to rip out the in-form top order only for Jonassen - making her Test debut - and Alyssa Healy (39) to launch a fightback with a 77-run stand for the fifth wicket.

More runs from Kristen Beams, unbeaten on 24 at number nine in the order, further frustrated England's attempts to bowl Australia out and the tourists will resume day two looking to get Jonassen to a maiden century and push on towards 300.

They started well enough with openers Elyse Villani (33) and Nicole Bolton (36) putting on 66 in good time.

Team Line-Ups

England: Heather Knight, Lauren Winfield, Sarah Taylor (wicket-keeper), Charlotte Edwards (captain), Lydia Greenway, Natalie Sciver, Georgia Elwiss, Laura Marsh, Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Kate Cross

Australia: Elyse Villani, Nicole Bolton, Meg Lanning (captain), Ellyse Perry, Alex Blackwell, Jess Jonassen, Alyssa Healy (wicket-keeper), Sarah Coyte, Megan Schutt, Kristen Beams, Holly Ferling

England's purple patch with the ball began when Shrubsole had both Villani and Meg Lanning (3) caught by Heather Knight.

She followed it up by bowling Bolton and when the dangerous Ellyse Perry was caught by Sarah Taylor for five, Australia were 87 for four and had lost four wickets for just 21 runs.

Alex Blackwell was celebrating her 200th international match but made just seven before she was trapped in front by Katherine Brunt and Australia were five down for one less than 100 on the board.

Jonassen and Healy began the recovery and steered Australia to tea at 162 for five and extended their partnership during the final session.

Healy's share was 39 in 61 balls and their stand was finally broken when Laura Marsh got her lbw.

Although her wicket was quickly followed by those of Sarah Coyte (3) and Megan Schutt (11), England were to be denied the chance to get into bat themselves before the close of play.

Jonassen struck 10 fours during her 186-ball knock and found an able and willing ally towards the end of the day in Beams, whose 24 has come off 86 deliveries.

So far, the pair have put on 66 for the ninth wicket to leave Jonassen within one shot of a memorable debut century.

For England, Brunt finished the day with one for 58, Kate Cross one for 59 and Marsh two for 42.

As well as Jonassen, Beams and Bolton are making their Test debuts with Georgia Elwiss England's only debutante.

Australia lead the multi-format Women's Ashes series 4-2 after winning the One-Day International series 4-2.

Four points are available for a victory in the Test with two points on offer for a draw.

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