England continued to dominate their three-day practice match against Australia A at Millfield School in Somerset on Saturday (July 13). They began day two by bowling out the visitors for 218, before piling on the misery with the bat to finish on 185 for 2, more than 300-runs ahead.
Resuming the day on 45 for 2, Australia A lost Elyse Villani quite early in the first session. The right-hander who looked in ominous touch last evening after she smashed Laura Marsh for 16 runs in a single over, fell for 31 to Katherine Brunt. Georgia Redmayne and Rachel Trenaman (24) stitched together a valuable 85-run association for the fourth wicket. The pair remained steady through the first session, batting out 33.1 overs before Redmayne nicked a delivery from Brunt to Sarah Taylor. By then, the left-hander had played 157 deliveries for 76 runs.
Erin Burns (53) also hit a valiant half-century, but Australia A’s lower middle order failed to provide any support. England continued to chip away at the wickets, eventually dismissing the visitors for 218 in 75.4 overs to take a 125-run lead.
Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Marsh and Brunt picked up two wickets each, while Anya Shrubsole and Jenny Gunn managed one apiece.
Heather Knight and Georgia Elwiss, England’s new opening partnership, started aggressively, looking to extend the lead as much, and as quickly as possible. They went at a rapid rate, putting Sammy-Jo Johnson to the sword. In her first spell of four overs, the fast bowler conceded 27 runs at more than six runs per over
It wasn’t until Tahlia McGrath came into the attack that Australia A managed to wrestle back some control. The fast bowler conceded only six runs in her first spell of four overs and also picked up the wicket of Elwiss for 36. It was the visitors’ first wicket (that was not ‘retired out’) of the match.
That, however, would be the last dent they made for the day as Knight and Natalie Sciver continued on their merry way, putting together a 101-run partnership in 17.1 overs. Knight added to her unbeaten half century in the first innings, with an 80-ball 66 in her second outing. She retired out with England comfortably placed at 153— 278 runs ahead.
Knight’s departure brought Sarah Taylor to the crease for the first time in the match. The wicket-keeper, who has had a tough time with the bat over the last 15 months or so, managed to bat through the remainder of the day. At stumps on day two, England were 310 runs ahead with Sciver and Taylor unbeaten on 54 and 16 respectively.