Amy Jones in action. ©Getty Images
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Centuries for Amy Jones and Tammy Beaumont headlined England’s dominant performance against Australia A on the first day of their three-day warm up match at Millfield School in Somerset on Friday (July 12). The pair took the visitors’ bowling attack to the cleaners, sharing a 186-run opening stand at 3.79 runs per over. At stumps, the hosts had reduced Australia A to 45 for 2, still trailing their total of 343 by 298 runs.

Beaumont smashed 16 boundaries on her way to an even 100. She took charge of the opening partnership, going after the bowling early on, while Jones played herself into the innings. The pair batted together for 49 overs before Beaumont, who brought up her century shortly after lunch, retired out.

That, however, did nothing to change Australia A’s fortunes, as the visitors ploughed away through the day. Jones shared a 47-run second-wicket partnership with Heather Knight as England continued to pile on the misery. They scored quickly, going at close to four runs an over while the visitors searched desperately for answers.

For Jones, the century allows her to look beyond what was a nightmare-ish ODI series against Australia where she managed a grand total of five runs in three innings. On Friday, however, she struck  a 172-ball 115, including 14 boundaries before retiring out at tea.

While the departure of both openers did provide Australia A with some momentary relief (read, reduced scoring rate), Knight and Georgia Elwiss simply continued from where England’s top two had left off. The pair stitched together a 109-run partnership for the third wicket in 24 overs. Knight remained unbeaten on 65, while Elwiss managed 44 not out as England declared on 343 for 2.

The Australian bowlers went through 85 fruitless overs unable to catch a single break. Amanda Wellington, the leg-spinner, Maitlin Brown and Belinda Vakarewa, the fast bowlers, were the most impressive of the lot, conceding only around 3.5 runs an over.

With 45 mins of play left in the day, Kate Cross’ inspired spell pushed Australia A further on to the back foot when she dismissed Tahlia McGrath, the in-form opener, and Heather Graham for ducks. Within the first four overs of their innings, Australia A had been reduced to 5 for 2.

With their team staring into an abyss, the experienced duo of Georgia Redmayne and Elyse Villani managed to bat through the remainder of the day. The latter took the aggressive route smashing six boundaries en route to a 28-ball 27, including a 16-run over off Laura Marsh. Redmayne, on the other hand, was the more secure of the two, unbeaten on 18 off 35 deliveries. They shepherded Australia A to 45 for 2 in 13 overs at stumps on day one.