Moving day. In golf, the penultimate day of a four-day tournament is termed as such because it is when competitors try to set themselves up for the final push in the last round. On the third day of the four-day women’s Ashes Test match here at Canterbury it was Australia who, 106 runs ahead overnight, entered the field of play hoping to move far enough out of reach of England to orchestrate a first Test win on English soil since 2001.
It was a day for the cricketing purists. In an England innings which featured 436 dot balls and saw them bowled out for just 168 to trail the visitors on first innings by 106 runs, the Australian contingent of the healthy Canterbury crowd spent much of it mulling over unwanted reminders of the last time these two teams met in a Test on English soil.
In a devastating spell either side of lunch, Anya Shrubsole tipped the balance England’s way on day one of the women’s Ashes Test here in Canterbury. However, an unbeaten 95 down the order by Australia’s debutant Jess Jonassen frustrated the home side later in the day to leave the match evenly poised with the visitors on 268 for 8.
England head into the first and only Test of their Ashes series on Tuesday knowing that Australia, now 4-2 up in the multi-format series after taking the One Day Internationals 2-1, have found the X-factor so sorely lacking at present in their men. Captain Meg Lanning is living up to her status as number one batter in the world having struck a sublime century in the second ODI to take her series tally to 195.