Ellyse Perry in action. ©Cricket Australia

A fiery opening burst from Tayla Vlaeminck and disciplined work by the Australian spinners saw the visitors dismiss England Academy for 165, before an unbeaten 101 from Ellyse Perry and her 120-run stand with Jess Jonassen allowed Australia to extend their lead to 400 on the second day of their three-day practice match at Marlborough College on Friday (July 12).

Having resumed their innings at 49 for 3 on the second morning, the hosts got off to a horrendous start, losing four wickets for 25 runs in the space of 10 overs. Vlaeminck, the 20-year-old fast bowler, accounted for two of those, dismissing Sophia Dunkley and Alice Davidson-Richards in quick succession.

Perry struck the first blow of the day when she dismissed Danielle Wyatt, who was caught behind for 12. Dunkley and Emma Lamb attempted to build a partnership, but both batters were dismissed in the space of nine balls, with the score on 72. Dunkley fell lbw to Vlaeminck, while Lamb chipped a return catch to Molineux in her second over. Davidson-Richard’s dismissal in the following over saw them slump to 74 for 7.

The introduction of Ashleigh Gardner didn’t make life any easier for the hosts, as she removed Georgia Boyce for 13 to leave England Academy staring down the barrel at 89 for 8.

Just when it looked like Australia would run away with a massive lead, Mady Villiers found an able ally is Ellie Threlkeld, the wicket-keeper. Together, they batted out 20.4 overs to resurrect the innings with a steady 68-run stand.

However, it was too little too late for the hosts as Georgia Wareham, the leg-spinner, picked up the last two wickets in quick succession to wrap up the England Academy innings for 165. Threlkeld scored a patient 72-ball 24, while Villiers’s unbeaten 50, including seven boundaries, was the highest score of the innings.

For Australia, Vlaeminck finished with figures of 4 for 31 in 8 overs, Perry and Wareham picked up two wickets each, and Molineux and Gardner managed a wicket apiece.

With a lead of 195, Australia went into the second innings with the intent to dominate. Beth Langston, however, had other ideas. The right-arm pacer removed both openers, Alyssa Healy and Nicole Bolton, for identical scores of six. 

Meg Lanning, who missed out in the first innings, began positively, scoring 13 off her first 14 balls before England Academy managed to peg her back with some disciplined bowling. The introduction of Kirstie Gordon, the left-arm spinner, did the trick for the hosts as she dismissed the Australian captain for 16, caught by Lauren Winfield. At that stage, Australia had been reduced to 37 for 3, with a lead of 232.

Promoted to no.4, Gardner, attempted to rebuild the innings alongside Perry. They shared a promising 29-run stand before Gordon struck again immediately after tea, sending back the off-spinner for 17. 

With the innings in the balance, Jess Jonassen joined Perry in the middle, and the pair proceeding to wipe away any hopes England Academy may have had of fighting their way back into the match. Jonassen started off as the more aggressive of the two, striking two boundaries and a six in first 30 balls, but once Perry ticked off her half century, she put her foot on the accelerator. They shared a partnership worth 120 runs for the fifth wicket before Jonassen was dismissed for a well-compiled 44 by Gordon.

Meanwhile, Perry continued on her merry way, notching up an important century off 145 balls, including 10 fours. In the company of Beth Mooney, she guided Australia to a total of 205, before the left-hander was dismissed for 14 at the end of the day. She became Gordon’s fourth wicket of the innings.