Australia women in England & Ireland, 1998
Captain: Belinda Clark
50 over, AUS bt England under-21 by 177 runs at Finchley, 5 Jul
50 over, AUS bt South of England by 102 runs at Shenley, 7 Jul
50 over, AUS bt North of England by 187 runs at Oxton, 9 Jul
1st ODI, AUS bt England by 11 runs (DL) at Scarborough, 12 Jul
2nd ODI, AUS bt England by 64 runs at Derby, 15 Jul
3rd ODI, AUS bt England by 35 runs at Hove, 18 Jul
4th ODI, AUS bt England by 8 wickets at Southampton, 19 Jul
5th ODI, AUS bt England by 114 runs at Lord’s, 21 Jul
1st ODI, AUS bt Ireland by 172 runs at College Park, Dublin, 24 Jul
2nd ODI, AUS bt Ireland by 170 runs at College Park, Dublin, 25 Jul
3rd ODI, AUS bt Ireland by 96 runs (DL) at Merrion CC, Dublin, 27 Jul
3-day, AUS bt England A by an innings & 427 runs at Sittingbourne, 31 Jul – 2 Aug
1st Ashes Test, match drawn at Guildford, 6-9 Aug
2nd Ashes Test, match drawn at Harrogate, 11-14 Aug
3-day, vs WCA President’s XI, match drawn at Hare Hill, 18-20 Aug
3rd Ashes Test, match drawn at Worcester, 21-24 Aug
12 wins, 4 draws
Invincibles: Belinda Clark (c), Joanne Broadbent, Bronwyn Calver, Jodi Dannatt, Avril Fahey, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Jane Franklin, Michelle Goszko, Mel Jones, Lisa Keightley, Olivia Magno, Charmaine Mason, Julia Price, Karen Rolton
Australia women in England & Ireland, 2001
Captain: Belinda Clark
50 over, AUS bt MCC by 142 runs at Southgate, 18 Jun
50 over, AUS bt England Development XI by 170 runs at Southgate, 19 Jun
50 over, AUS bt England Development XI by 88 runs at Radlett, 21 Jun
1st Ashes Test, AUS bt England by 140 runs at Shenley, 24-26 Jun
1st ODI, AUS bt England by 99 runs at Derby, 29 Jun
2nd ODI, AUS bt England by 118 runs at Northampton, 2 Jul
3rd ODI, AUS bt England by 66 runs at Lord’s, 3 Jul
2nd Ashes Test, AUS bt England by 9 wickets at Headingley, 6-8 Jul
1st ODI, AUS bt Ireland by 5 wickets at Observatory Lane, Dublin, 12 Jul
2nd ODI, AUS bt Ireland by 9 wickets at College Park, Dublin, 14 Jul
3rd ODI, AUS bt Ireland by 201 runs at College Park, Dublin, 15 Jul
Invincibles: Belinda Clark (c), Louise Broadfoot, Sally-Ann Cooper, Avril Fahey, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Michelle Goszko, Julie Hayes, Lisa Keightley, Terry McGregor, Olivia Magno, Charmaine Mason, Julia Price, Karen Rolton, Lisa Sthalekar
Australia vs England head-to-head women’s ODI record
England 17 – 14 Australia
1 tie (Australia won super over)
England are the only side with a winning record in T20Is against Australia.
Head-to-head T20I record in England
England 8 – 3 Australia
Women’s Ashes T20Is
England 8 – 4 Australia
Bilateral T20I series results
ENG 4-1 AUS in Australia, 2011
ENG 3-0 AUS in England, 2013 (ENG won multi-format Ashes 12-4)
AUS 2-1 ENG in Australia 2014 (ENG won multi-format Ashes 10-8)
ENG 2-1 AUS in England 2015 (AUS won multi-format Ashes 10-6)
ENG 2-1 AUS in Australia 2017 (multi-format Ashes drawn 8-8, AUS retained trophy)
Most recent T20I meetings
ENG bt AUS by 40 runs at Manuka Oval, Canberra, 19 Nov 2017
ENG bt AUS by 4 wickets at Manuka Oval, Canberra, 21 Nov 2017
ENG bt AUS by 8 wickets at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, 23 Mar 2018
AUS bt ENG by 8 wickets at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, 28 Mar 2018
AUS bt ENG by 57 runs at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, 31 Mar 2018 (tri-series final)
AUS bt ENG by 8 wickets at North Sound, Antigua, 24 Nov 2018 (World T20 final)
Recent T20I form
Australia vs England women’s T20I record performances
Australia 209/4, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, 31 Mar 2018
Beth Mooney (AUS) 117*, Manuka Oval, Canberra, 21 Nov 2017
Anya Shrubsole (ENG) 4-11, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, 31 Aug 2015
After the drawn Test at Taunton, Australia retain the Women’s Ashes trophy, and are in pursuit of their third ‘invincible’ Women’s Ashes tour (Belinda Clark led unbeaten tours of the UK and Ireland in both 1998 and 2001). The next task for Australia on the road to an unbeaten series, will be to achieve something no side ever has in women’s cricket – beat England at Chelmsford. England have won all fourteen fixtures they’ve played at the County Ground (six ODIs and eight T20Is).
Historically, England have had the upper hand in T20I contests vs Australia. England are the only side in women’s T20Is with a wining record vs Australia, and have won four out of five bilateral series the sides have contested, but their most recent meetings have seen Australia record big wins in significant matches.
In March 2018, the sides met in the final of the Indian tri-nation series at Mumbai, with Australia posting what was briefly (such is the rate of evolution in women’s T20Is) a world record total of 209/4, on the way to a 57 run victory. In November they met once more, in the final of the World T20 at North Sound. After a nervy start, Australia bowled out England for 105, going on to win with eight wickets and 29 balls to spare.
That World T20 final was Australia’s most recent outing in the shortest format, while England by contrast, have played and won seven T20Is since their disappointment in Antigua.
As in ODIs, Australia have been a class apart in T20Is since the 2017 World Cup. In matches played between the established top ten, the Southern Stars average the most runs per wicket (33.11) and have the highest run rate (8.18 rpo) as a batting side, and average the fewest runs per wicket (16.92) as a bowling side. This unsurprisingly translates into an exceptional win/loss record.
Women’s T20I win/loss record since the 2017 World Cup (top 10 vs top 10)
|Team||Mat||Won||Lost||Tied||NR||W/L||Bat ave||RPO||Bowl av||ER|
With Ellyse Perry in sparkling form during this Ashes series, and following her dominant WBBL season, which saw her score a record 777 runs at a SR of 121.21, there is speculation she may be elevated in the batting order. It’s possible Perry could open with her Sydney Sixers opening partner Alyssa Healy, whose rampaging form earned her player of the tournament at the World T20. That may be unlikely though, as Healy’s opening partnership with Beth Mooney has produced six 50+ opening stands in their last nine innings. In seven T20I innings against England, Mooney averages 59.75 at an exceptional SR of 142.26.
More likely, is that Perry will come in at #3-5, but even there Australia boast such depth that she may still have to contend with a role at #6 or #7. The ruthlessly pragmatic Australian brains trust may conclude that Ashleigh Gardner, player of the match in the World T20 final, has greater potential to play a destructive knock at #3 than Perry. The adaptable Rachael Haynes has the highest SR (146.15) among Australia’s players since the 2017 World Cup.
In terms of long-term form vs England, captain Meg Lanning has been the most the consistent batter in women’s T20Is. Among women to have batted ten or more times against them in T20Is, Lanning’s 23 innings vs England have produced both the highest average (38.52) and highest SR (123.44). Lanning ‘s 88* (45) against England in the final of the 2018 Indian tri-nation series, was the highest SR innings of her career (195.55).
In truth, Australia’s likely top seven or eight could almost bat in any order, as they all either open or bat at #3 for their WBBL sides. The ultra-reliable Lanning and Perry coming in at some point during the middle order are the ultimate insurance policy. Anyone who bats above them can do so with total freedom, in the knowledge that the loss of their wicket is unlikely to lead to a collapse.
Megan Schutt has the 2nd most wickets (34) in women’s T20Is since the 2017 World Cup. No bowler with ten or more women’s T20I career wickets against England has a better average than Schutt’s 12.42. Schutt’s economy rate vs England is also a stellar 5.75 rpo. Ellyse Perry has taken 25 of her 100 T20I career wickets against England.
Delissa Kimmnce’s change of pace will be in effect through the middle and at the death, and Australia have an array of spin options at their disposal for the middle overs. Ash Gardner took 3-22 vs England during the World T20 final, while Georgia Wareham took 2-11. Sophie Molineux’s economy rate has been 5.84 rpo since debuting in March last year. Injury prevented Jess Joanssen from taking part in the World T20 but she is currently the third highest wicket taker in the 2019 Women’s Ashes series.
England don’t boast quite the numbers that Australia can offer, but are still the third fastest scoring side since the 2017 World Cup (7.72 rpo). Though they don’t hit as big as Australia (or for that matter West Indies, India, South Africa or New Zealand, who all hit sixes at a greater rate), England make up for that to some degree by being the best running side in women’s T20Is. The average non-boundary SR in matches played between the top ten nations since the 2017 World Cup is 58.29 (3.50 rpo). England’s rate is 68.63 (4.12 rpo).
In their most recent T20I, vs West Indies in June, both sides hit virtually the same number of boundary runs: England scored 86 off 21 (20×4, 1×6) to West Indies’ 84 off 20 (18×4, 2×6). England won comfortably however, because they ran 91 off 99 non-boundary balls, compared with West Indies’ 51 off 101. England’s non-boundary SR in that innings (91.9 or 5.5 rpo) was the highest in a women’s T20I played between two full member nations.
The change of format to T20 sees the return of Danni Wyatt to the top of the order for England. Wyatt began her career renaissance in the previous Ashes series, during which she cemented her place as an opener. Since the start of that series, Wyatt has 892 runs in 25 innings at an average of 37.16 and a SR of 140.03. In 49 career innings before that, Wyatt had scored just 488 runs at 11.90 and a SR of 104.72. Wyatt’s 100 in the series levelling 3rd T20I at Manuka Oval in 2017 made her the first, and so far only woman to make a T20I century vs Australia.
The most eye-catching selection in England’s squad is Essex’s Mady Villiers. Villiers produced a hard-hitting 30 (15) vs Australia A last week and at Hove on 27th August last year, took 3-22 for vs Loughborough Lightning to help Surrey Stars lift the KSL trophy. Villiers’ figures were the best taken in a KSL final.
Beyond Villiers, England’s squad is surprisingly conservative and doesn’t appear especially T20 focused. There is no room for Kirstie Gordon, Sophia Dunkley or Linsey Smith, who all acquitted themselves well debuting during the 2018 World T20. Nor is there a space for Bryony Smith, whose domestic form in both formats for Surrey saw her make her ODI debut earlier in the summer. By contrast, Georgia Elwiss is included, but hasn’t played a T20I since 2016.
It could be that this squad is being used as a last chance for several senior players to prove they still have a place in England’s plans for the winter, which culminate with the T20 World Cup in February.
Landmarks to look out for
Ellyse Perry needs 49 runs to become the first player in men’s or women’s cricket to achieve the T20 international career double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets.
2019 multi-format Women’s Ashes
1st T20I, County Ground, Chelmsford, 26th July
2nd T20I, County Ground, Hove, 28th July
3rd T20I, County Ground, Bristol, 31st July
ENGLAND: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield, Fran Wilson*, Danni Wyatt
*Fran Wilson added to squad after Jenny Gunn and Sarah Taylor were both withdrawn.
AUSTRALIA: Meg Lanning (c), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru
29 – At Taunton, the 50th Women’s Ashes Test ended as a draw, meaning that Australia retain the trophy. This was the 29th drawn Women’s Ashes Test (58%). In all, 89 of 140 women’s Test matches (63.6%) have been drawn.
13 – This will be the 13th of the 23 Women’s Ashes series to end with Australia as holders. A win in any of the three T20Is will give Australia their ninth outright Women’s Ashes series victory.
2 – With 116 in the 1st innings, Ellyse Perry became the fourth woman to make two consecutive centuries in Test cricket. Like Perry, the other three player to achieve this landmark (Betty Wilson, Enid Bakewell and Claire Taylor) all did so across two separate Tests, but unlike Perry, they all did so during the same series. Perry maintained her Test century-making form despite an interval of 20 months between her 213* at North Sydney Oval and her 116 at Taunton.
329 – Over the course of her two consecutive centuries, Perry scored the most women’s Test runs without dismissal, breaking the record of Emily Drumm, who scored 285 unbeaten runs across three innings for New Zealand in 1995-96.
116 & 76* – Perry’s 2nd innings 76* made her the second Australian woman to make a century and a fifty in the same Test. The first was Jill Kennare, with 56 & 103 vs England at the WACA in 1984. Perry was the eleventh woman from any nation to achieve the feat, and the fourth woman to make two scores of 75+ runs in the same Test.
3 – Perry’s 76* also made her the first woman to make three consecutive 50+ Test scores since India’s Hemlata Kala in 2002-06. The last Australian women to do so were Belinda Clark and Karen Rolton, who matched each others efforts across three innings during the 1998 Ashes.
192 – Perry’s match total of 192 runs was the seventh highest in a Women’s Ashes Test. Perry, who made the second highest total (213) in the previous Ashes Test, and Karen Rolton are the only players to feature twice among the top ten.
78.00 – Perry’s batting average is the second highest of any woman to have played 10 or more innings in Test cricket, beaten only by Denise Annetts (81.90).
500 & 25 – Perry’s runs at Taunton made her the seventh woman to achieve the Test career double of 500+ runs and 25+ wickets, and the first to do so since India’s Shubhangi Kulkarni in 1986.
58 – Alyssa Healy was the first Australian opener to make a half-century in a women’s Test since Alex Blackwell vs England at Worcester in 2009. At 61 balls faced, Healy’s fifty was the joint second fastest recorded in women’s Tests. The record is 57 balls, by New Zealand’s Maia Lewis against England at Worcester in 1996.
#1-3 – In the 1st innings, the top three were all dismissed bowled, the first time this had happened to Australia’s top three in the same innings of a women’s Test since 1972.
41 – The wicket of Jess Jonassen made Katherine Brunt England women’s fourth highest wicket taker in Test cricket, overtaking Gill McConway. At the same time, Brunt also overtook Jhulan Goswami to become the highest women’s Test wicket taker among active international players.
420 – Australia’s 420/8d was the third highest 1st innings total in women’s Tests. Following the 448/9d Australia scored in the previous Ashes Test, this was both the the first instance of Australia scoring, and England conceding 400+ totals in consecutive women’s Test innings.
0 out of 5 – Starting with the 1st innings of the Canterbury Test in 2015, England have now failed to bowl Australia out in five consecutive Test innings. Since the start of 2010, England have bowled Australia out in just two of eleven Test innings.
69 & 52 – Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry, who had never batted together in a Test before this match, made a fifty partnership in both innings. The last Australian partnership to make two 50+ stands in the same Test were Belinda Clark and Lisa Keightley vs England at Harrogate in 1998.
0 – Tammy Beaumont became the seventh England opener to be bowled out for a duck in a women’s Test, and the first since Laura Newton against India at Taunton in 2006.
31 – The wicket of Beaumont saw Ellyse Perry draw level with Peggy Antonio as the third highest wicket taker (31) in women’s Tests against England. Perry is unlikely to play enough Tests in the rest of her career to catch Betty Wilson (53) and Cathryn Fitzpatrick (52).
64 – Amy Jones was the first English woman to score a half-century on Test debut since Mandie Godliman scored 65 vs India at Taunton in 2002, and the first English debutant to do so as opener since Lesley Cooke vs India at Wetherby in 1986.
50 – In their 1st innings, Australia equalled the record for most 50+ scores in the same women’s Test innings (5). The seven different Australian and English players in total that made 50+ scores in the match were the joint most for a Women’s Ashes Test, equalling the record set at Hove in 1987. Five different players (Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Amy Jones and Nat Sciver) made their maiden Test fifty during the 2019 Taunton Test.
80 – Scores of 87 and 88 respectively, from Rachael Haynes and Nat Sciver made this the first women’s Test in which two players batting at #5 made scores of 80+ runs. Sciver’s 88 was the fourth highest score by an English #5 in women’s Tests.
4 – At 21 years 185 days, Sophie Molineux (4-95) was the second youngest Australian woman to take 4-fer in a women’s Test in the last 25 years. The youngest was Ellyse Perry, who at 20 years 80 days, took 4-56 vs England at Bankstown in 2011.
50 & 4 – Scoring 21 and 41 with the bat and taking 4-95 with the ball, Molineux became the seventh woman in Test history to contribute 50+ match runs and 4+ match wickets on debut. The last Australian to do so was Karen Rolton, who scored 42 & 23 and took match figures of 4-65 vs New Zealand a Hagley Oval in 1995.
-145 – England were the ninth women’s Test side to declare behind, and their deficit of 145 runs was greatest among those nine sides. England were the seventh of the nine to end up drawing the match, while two (England vs West Indies in 1979 and Australia vs England in 2011) went on to win.
7 – Australia’s seven partnerships of 50+ runs (1×100, 6×50) were the most made by any side in a women’s Test. England also made two 50+ partnerships in the same innings of a home Test for the first time since 2009.
9 – The nine 50+ stands Australia and England made between them were the joint most in a women’s Test. The last time nine 50+ stands had been made in the same match before Taunton, was the 2nd Ashes Test at Harrogate in 1998.
2.83 – Despite both sides at times receiving criticism for their speed of scoring, the match run rate at Taunton (2.83 rpo) was the ninth highest for a women’s Test, and the highest since 2003.
100,000 – The single Nat Sciver scored off the bowling of Tayla Vlaeminck on ball 60.6 of England’s innings was the 100,000th run scored in women’s Test cricket. The limited opportunities afforded to play the format have meant that it has taken the best part of 85 years to reach this aggregate in women’s Tests. By contrast, there have been over 100,000 runs scored in men’s Tests since the start of March 2017.
Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru.
Australia vs England head-to-head women’s Test record
Australia 12 – 9 England, 28 draws
Australia vs England is the most commonly played women’s Test fixture. This will be their 50th meeting in the format.
Test series results
5 Australia wins, 3 England wins, 6 drawn series
Standalone Tests outside multi-format Ashes
Australia 2 – 1 England, 1 draw
Multi-format Women’s Ashes Tests
Australia 1 – 1 England, 2 draws
Head-to-head Test record in England
Australia 6 – 4 England, 15 draws
Most recent Test meetings
AUS won by 7 wickets at Bankstown, 22-25 Jan 2011
Draw at Wormsley, 11-14 Aug 2013
ENG won by 61 runs at Perth, 10-13 Jan 2014
AUS won by 161 runs at Canterbury, 11-14 Aug 2015
Draw at North Sydney Oval, 9-12 Nov 2017
‘Recent’ Test form
Australia vs England women’s Test record performances
Australia 569/6d Guildford, 1998
Ellyse Perry (AUS) 213*, North Sydney Oval, 2017
Lindsay Reeler & Denise Annetts (AUS) 309, 3rd wkt at Wetherby, 1987
Best bowling in an innings:
Mary Duggan (ENG) 7-6, Junction Oval, 1958
Best bowling in a match:
Betty Wilson (AUS) 11-16, Junction Oval, 1958
After a 3-0 whitewash in the ODIs, that culminated in Ellyse Perry’s record 7-22 at Canterbury, Australia only need to draw the Test at Taunton to retain the Women’s Ashes. England by contrast, must win the Test and whitewash the T20Is to regain the trophy. England women’s last win in a home Test was their famous win at New Road, Worcester in 2005, which secured their first Ashes series win since 1963.
Remarkably, that match at New Road is one of just two home wins England have achieved in women’s Test cricket since the start of 1980. Australia have won four Tests in England during the same period.
With England needing to win, and Australia promising positive cricket to make the case for more women’s Tests, Taunton should see more wickets than the 21 which fell on the pudding served up at North Sydney Oval in 2017. The quality of pitches is perhaps more important for women’s Test cricket than for any other format, both for the match in progress, and the legacy it produces for the next two years.
Women’s Test cricket is in the paradoxical position of never being played less frequently in recent times, while at the same time, never having had a higher profile, and the concurrent media scrutiny that profile entails. The Taunton Test will be the eighth and last women’s Test played in the 2010s, the lowest total since the 1940s, and the fewest Test played in an uninterrupted decade (the first women’s Test was played in 1934, and the first post-war Test was played in 1948).
Women’s Test matches by decade
|1930s||7||3 (AUS, ENG, NZ)|
|1940s||5||3 (AUS, ENG, NZ)|
|1950s||12||3 (AUS, ENG, NZ)|
|1960s||17||4 (AUS, ENG, NZ, SA)|
|1970s||24||6 (AUS, ENG, IND, NZ, SA, WI)|
|1980s||21||4 (AUS, ENG, IND, NZ)|
|1990s||24||6 (AUS, ENG, IND, NZ, PAK, SL)|
|2000s||22||9 (AUS, ENG, IND, IRE, NED, NZ, PAK, SA, WI)|
|2010s||8||4 (AUS, ENG, IND, SA)|
The launch of the multi-format Women’s Ashes in 2013 brought a wider spotlight onto women’s Tests, which had all been one-off matches that passed with little fanfare since 2007. Placing the Test in the context of a wider multi-format series not only meant more build-up and analysis of the games, but would lead to the first fully televised Test, at Canterbury in 2015 (the 2014 Test at Perth was also livestreamed in its entirety).
Much like major tournaments in other women’s sports, each Test now ends up being used as marker for the viability of the format by a wider media that doesn’t otherwise exhibit a great deal of interest in women’s cricket. Reaction to the somewhat soporific play on a leaden surface at Canterbury in 2015 was particularly egregious (and was expertly debunked by Andy Zaltzman for ESPNcricinfo).
On-field, Australia captain Meg Lanning will play her first Test since 2015, after missing the 2017 Ashes due to shoulder surgery. Lanning already has reasonable claim to be the best women’s ODI batter ever, but after a solid debut at Wormsley in 2013 (48 and 36), fell for low scores in her two subsequent Tests.
Alyssa Healy is set to open the batting for the first time in a Test, having never batted above #7 before in the longest format. The Test may be an opportunity for Australia’s Nicole Bolton and England’s Amy Jones to play themselves in, after ODI series they’d probably both rather forget.
Given that ‘form’ is a non-existent concept in the international cricket’s most neglected format, and that virtually every batter made runs in two lop-sided warm-up games against England Academy and Australia A, it’s difficult to gauge which batters might be in the best shape for the Test.
Women’s ODI balls per dismissal since the 2017 World Cup (250+ balls faced)
Of the players who will feature in this Test, Ellyse Perry has the best rate of ODI balls per dismissal (65.64) since the last World Cup, followed by Beth Mooney, Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight. Perry’s numbers aren’t quite as overwhelming as they were in the lead up to her brilliant 213* during the previous Ashes, when she averaged 88.9 balls per ODI dismissal in the time between the 2015 and 2017 Ashes Tests.
Perry and Heather Knight are the only members of either squad to have made a Test century, while England’s squad overall features four players to have made a Test fifty (Knight, Beaumont, Brunt, Marsh), and Australia’s includes three (Perry, Jonassen and Haynes).
Whoever opens the batting on Thursday will have to reckon with bowlers in the shape of Australia’s Ellyse Perry and England’s Katherine Brunt, who have proved themselves among the most accomplished to have played women’s Test cricket. Perry (30 at 17.33) and Brunt (39 at 21.84) are among sixteen women in Test history to have taken 30+ wickets at a sub-22 average.
The only active player with better Test bowling stats is India’s Jhulan Goswami (40 at 16.62). Should Brunt bowl 18 overs in this Test, she will have delivered more overs in women’s Test cricket than any active player, overtaking Jenny Gunn (364.5).
In the single-Test era (the last 2nd Test in women’s cricket was played at Taunton in 2006), pace bowlers have taken 203 wickets at 21.71 compared with 91 wickets at 31.38 for spinners.
Women’s Test bowling in the single-Test era (2007-present)
|Best innings figures||6/32||5/37|
|Best match figures||9/70||9/85|
|5 wickets in an innings||6||2|
|10 wickets in a match||0||0|
Those numbers bode well for Tayla Vlaeminck who is set to make her Test debut, having been selected for this tour with specifically this match in mind. Vlaeminck is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 125 km/h (78 mph), which places her in top echelons in terms of pace for women’s cricket, alongside New Zealand’s Lea Tahuhu and South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail.
The pitch at Taunton is expected to take turn however, having favoured spin in men’s first class cricket in recent seasons, and both sides look set to pick two left-arm spinners in their XIs. Australia’s Jess Jonassen and England’s Sophie Ecclestone could be joined by Sophie Molineux, who produced Test like numbers (26-6-39-6) during Australia’s ODI series vs Pakistan in October, and Kirstie Gordon, who took eight wickets for England Academy in the warm-up game last week.
Landmarks to look out for
Katherine Brunt needs two wickets to overtake Gillian McConway (40) and become England’s 4th highest wicket taker in women’s Test cricket. In doing so, Brunt would also surpass Jhulan Goswami as the highest women’s Test wicket taker among active international players. Playing at Taunton would also give Brunt the 7th longest Test career span for England women
Ellyse Perry needs two wickets to become the third highest wicket taker in women’s Tests vs England, and Australia women’s 7th highest Test wicket taker overall, overtaking Peggy Antonio (31).
2019 Women’s Ashes Test
County Ground, Taunton
England: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Sarah Taylor
Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Stats derived from womenscricket.net, cricketarchive and ESPNcricinfo statsguru.
At Taunton on Thursday, England and Australia begin the four-day Women’s Ashes Test, with England needing to win the match in order to keep the series alive. Already 6-0 down on points after an increasingly one-sided ODI series, England must also battle the weight of history in women’s Test cricket, a format in which forcing a win has proved among the most difficult challenges in international cricket.
Since the first women’s Test was played, between Australia and England at Brisbane in 1934, there have been 139 matches in the format, 88 of which have ended as draws (63.3%). In England the percentage of drawn women’s Tests rises to 69%. The ratio of wins to draws in women’s Tests worldwide since 1934 is almost precisely the reverse to that seen in men’s Tests during the same period (66.6% won and 33.3% drawn).
The move from three-day to four-day Tests from the 1970s onward (the last three-day women’s Test was played in 1984), which also coincided with the beginning of ODI cricket, saw the proportion of draws drop slightly.
Comparison of three and four day women’s Test cricket
|Match type||3 day||4 & 5 day*||All|
|Runs per wicket||23.40||27.34||25.53|
|Balls per wicket||66.86||77.19||72.46|
|Runs per over||2.10||2.13||2.11|
|Wins||21 (33.3%)||30 (39.5%)||51 (36.7%)|
|Draws||42 (66.6%)||46 (60.5%)||88 (63.3%)|
*The only 5-day women’s Test was played between Australia & England at North Sydney Oval in 1992.
NB: Balls per wicket and runs per over stats exclude the 2nd innings of the 6th India v West Indies Test at Jammu in 1976 as there is no available record of the number of overs bowled.
In both men’s and women’s cricket in recent times, the proportion of drawn Tests has continued to decrease, though draws remain twice as common in the women’s game (44.8%) as they are in the men’s (22.4%).
Test results in women’s and men’s cricket since 2000
|Women’s Tests||Men’s Tests|
|Wins||16 (55.2%)||676 (77.6%)|
|Draws||13 (44.8%)||195 (22.4%)|
The average rate at which wickets have fallen in women’s Test cricket (72.46 balls per wicket) means it would on average take 484 overs to take 40 wickets. Adjusting for the different rate at which wickets fall per innings, this comes down to 475 overs, but is still in excess of the expected overs for a four day women’s Test (400).
Comparing men’s and women’s Tests, the rate at which wickets fall increases with each progressive innings in men’s Tests, but women’s Test don’t follow the same pattern. In women’s Tests, the rate at which wickets fall slows down during the 2nd & 3rd innings compared with the 1st, stalling the progress of the match and making draws more likely.
In both men’s and women’s Tests since 2000, the rate at wickets fall has increased, though in women’s Tests on average it would still take longer than the allotted 400 overs for all 40 wickets to fall (455). While in men’s cricket the trend remains for wickets to fall faster with each progressive innings, the rate in women’s Tests has almost flat-lined across the four match innings.
In the 139 women’s Tests played since 1934, all 40 wickets have fallen on just six occasions (4.3%), compared with a rate of 11.9% for men’s Tests since 1934.
Any number of factors, from a lack of pitch degradation and generally unsuitable pitches to begin with (which has effects on both pace and spin bowling), to a simple a lack of experience playing the format, all likely play a part in the different characteristics to the innings in women’s Tests. What it means in practice though, is that a positive result can often be heavily dependent on team strategy, specifically declarations.
100 of the 139 women’s Tests (71.9%) have featured at least one declared innings, while the figures for men’s Tests in the same period is 46.9%. During that time, 21% of winning sides in men’s Tests have declared their 1st innings. The figure for the winning sides in women’s Tests is 49% (25 of 51).
With losing sides in women’s Tests facing an average of 174 overs per match, teams often need to carefully weigh up how much time they can take out of a game before they damage their own chance of winning, and the draw becomes the most likely outcome. In some cases, captains will need to resist allowing players to reach arbitrary personal milestones such as centuries, especially given how long those scores can take to compile in women’s Tests.
For the 1934-2019 period, in terms of how frequently they occur (1.81 per match played), 70 is roughly the equivalent women’s Test score to a men’s Test century, with women’s Test centuries being more akin to a score of 135 in men’s Tests (0.73 per match). 73.5% of women’s Test centuries have been made in draws.
Teams that post in excess of 250 in their first innings rarely go on to lose women’s Tests, and just one side has lost after posting 300 in their first innings (Australia 302 v England at Blackpool in 1937).
Women’s Test results by total in 1st team innings
|Total||Won match||Lost match||Drawn|
|Sub 100||3 (15.0%)||11 (55.0%)||6 (30.0%)|
|100-149||3 (9.1%)||17 (51.5 %)||13 (39.4%)|
|150-199||8 (17.8%)||13 (28.9%)||24 (53.3%)|
|200-249||12 (19.4%)||6 (10.7%)||38 (67.9%)|
|250-299||11 (19.6%)||3 (5.4%)||42 (75.0%)|
|300-349||8 (21.6%)||1 (2.7%)||28 (75.7%)|
|350-399||2 (14.3%)||0||12 (85.7%)|
|400 plus||4 (25.0%)||0||12 (75.0%)|
In the era of one-off Women’s Ashes Tests (which began in 2008), only two out of seven sides have been bowled out on day one. Assuming neither side is skittled out at Taunton on Thursday (which on recent evidence, might be an assumption too far), and has some control over when their innings might end, their likely paths to victory could be quite different.
For Australia, a declaration isn’t a priority. They can afford to bat long and hope to force an England side chasing the game into errors. This approach also virtually eliminates the chances of being defeated. Only one side has lost a women’s Test after facing over 125 overs in their first innings.
This could work less well for England, should they avoid succumbing to Ellyse Perry and co, because Australia are under no pressure to win, and would retain the Ashes by playing out for a draw. Given the strength of Australia’s betting line-up, England’s best chance of a win when batting first may lie in an aggressive declaration, even though it would also leave them more vulnerable to defeat.
Timing of declarations can also be a useful tool in a format in which batting sides are less disrupted by intervals than in the five day game. Women’s Tests feature eleven intervals separated by roughly 34 overs, compared with fourteen intervals (theoretically) separated by 30 overs in men’s five-day matches.
Alternatively, declaration speculation may be completely moot if the Taunton surface allows wickets to fall at an above average rate for the format.
While spinners are a consistent wicket taking option in limited overs cricket, pace bowlers have taken the bulk of wickets in women’s Tests matches in recent times. In the era of one-off Tests (the last women’s Test series was played in 2006), pace bowlers have taken 203 wickets at 21.71, compared with 91 wickets at 31.38 for spinners.
Women’s Test bowling in the single-Test era (2007- present)
|Best innings figures||6/32||5/37|
|Best match figures||9/70||9/85|
|5 wickets in an innings||6||2
In women’s Tests in England since 2000, the picture is quite similar, with pace bowlers again taking twice as many wickets as spinners, at a better average, strike rate and economy rate.
Women’s Test bowling in England since 2000
|Best innings figures||6/32||5/65|
|Best match figures||10/78||6/114|
|5 wickets in an innings||8||1|
|10 wickets in a match||1||0|
NB: Bowling statistics exclude bowlers with mixed or unknown styles.
As mentioned above, in recent years the rate at which wickets fall in women’s Tests has varied very little from innings to innings. Some of this may be due to playing four-day rather than five-day Tests combined with bowlers in women’s cricket generally doing less damage to the playing surface. Evidence of this may be present in the fact that in women’s Tests played in England since 2000, spinners have taken a combined total of just eight 4th innings wickets.
Among active international players, just two of the top ten wicket takers are spinners. Laura Marsh’s 14 wickets are the most taken by a current international spinner (Marsh has 20 Test career wickets, but played her first two matches as a pace bowler).
Most women’s Test wickets (active international players)
|J Goswami (IND) rfm||2002-2014||10||40||5/25||10/78||16.62||3||1|
|KH Brunt (ENG) rfm||2004-2017||11||39||6/69||9/111||21.84||2||0|
|EA Perry (AUS) rmf||2008-2017||7||30||6/32||9/70||17.33||2||0|
|JL Gunn (ENG) rm||2004-2014||11||29||5/19||5/59||22.24||1||0|
|LA Marsh (ENG) rmf/os||2006-2017||8||20||3/44||4/83||33.95||0||0|
|A Shrubsole (ENG) rfm||2013-2017||5||17||4/51||7/99||24.52||0||0|
|KL Cross (ENG) rmf||2014-2015||3||14||3/29||6/70||14.92||0||0|
|H Kaur (IND) os||2014-2014||2||9||5/44||9/85||10.77||1||0|
|M Schutt (AUS) rmf||2013-2017||3||9||4/26||6/41||19.44||0||0|
|CR Seneviratna (SL) rm||1998-1998||1||7||5/31||7/59||8.42||1||0|
NB: Though still an active player, former Sri Lanka captain Chamani Seneviratna now plays for UAE.
The last spinner to take 5-fer in a women’s Test in England was Clare Connor, with 5-65 v Australia at Denis Compton Oval, Shenley in 2001.
The fortunes of spinners may change during the 2019 women’s Ashes Test, given the choice of venue. In recent years Taunton, or ‘Ciderabad’, has been seen as particularly favourable to the talents of Jack Leach. That is reflected in the the squads picked for the Test, with the possibility that both sides may field two left-arm spinners, in the shape of Sophie Ecclestone and Kirstie Gordon for England, and Jess Jonassen and Sophie Molineux for Australia.
Australia vs England head-to-head women’s ODI record
Australia 49 – 22 England
1 tie, 3 no results
Australia vs England is the 2nd most commonly played women’s ODI fixture (75 matches), after Australia vs New Zealand (126).
Bilateral ODI series wins
Australia 9 – 3 England
2 drawn series
England’s 2-1 win in 2013 is Australia’s only bilateral ODI series loss to any side since the start of 2010.
Head-to-head ODI record in England
Australia 17 – 16 England
Australia are the only women’s ODI side with a winning record in ODIs played against England in England.
Women’s Ashes ODIs
Australia 7 – 5 England
Most recent ODI meetings
ENG won by 4 wickets at Taunton, 21st Jul 2015
AUS won by 63 runs at Bristol, 23rd Jul 2015
AUS won by 89 runs at Worcester, 27th Jul 2015
ENG won by 3 runs at Bristol, 9th Jul 2017 (World Cup)
AUS won by 2 wickets at Allan Border Field, 22nd Oct 2017
AUS won by 75 runs at Coff’s Harbour, 26th Oct 2017
ENG won by 20 runs at Coff’s Harbour, 29th Oct 2017
Recent ODI form
Australia vs England women’s ODI record performances
Australia 299/2, Newcastle NSW, 3rd Feb 2000
Belinda Clark (AUS) 146*, Newcastle NSW, 3rd Feb 2000
Shelley Nitschke (AUS) 7-24, Kidderminster, 19th Aug 2005
The 2019 Women’s Ashes marks Australia‘s first visit to England since the 2017 World Cup, which saw the Southern Stars knocked out at the semi-final stage by a Harmanpreet Kaur inspired India. During the group stage, Australia also lost to England, which was seen as an important milestone for the hosts on their way to tournament victory. Until that game at Bristol, England hadn’t beaten Australia in a Women’s World Cup match since 1993.
Losses at the 2017 World Cup and the 2016 World T20 prompted a period of reflection from Australia, from which they’ve once again emerged as the strongest side in women’s cricket. Australia have won their last 13 bilateral ODI series, and 20 out of 21 this decade (their only loss was in 2013, during the inaugural multi-format Ashes series).
England can, and repeatedly have, pointed to the 8-8 scoreline in 2017/18 Women’s Ashes as proof of their competitiveness. In truth, Australia had scored enough points to retain the trophy with two games to spare. In March 2018, Australia beat England in the final of the Indian tri-nation T20I series, before reclaiming their World T20 title by comfortably beating England in the final in November.
Australia have lost just one ODI since the 2017 World Cup, to England during the previous Ashes series. Since that match at Coff’s Harbour, Australia have won nine matches in a row, whitewashing India, Pakistan and New Zealand. A win in the 1st ODI of the Ashes would be the ninth instance of Australia winning ten women’s ODIs in a row. No other women’s ODI side has achieved more than two 10+ match wining streaks.
England begin the series on the longest all-format winning streak in their history (14), but would probably prefer to have been tested more often during that run. Dominant displays in both limited overs formats vs Sri Lanka and West Indies, and a T20I whitewash of India, distract from the fact that England have lost the series whenever they’ve played the strongest women’s ODI sides (Australia and India) since the 2017 World Cup.
The 2017/18 Ashes was followed by a tour to India, by an admittedly experimental England side, which saw India win the ODI series 2-1. In February this year, England returned to India with a stronger squad and ICC Women’s Championship points on the line, but the series scoreline was the same. By contrast, Australia were untroubled in whitewashing India 3-0 in March 2018.
England however, are a much stronger side in home conditions. England have won every home ODI series or tournament since 2016, with their last series defeat coming during the 2015 Ashes. The 2015 series is the only bilateral ODI series England have lost at home since 2007 (when they lost 3-2 to New Zealand).
Women’s ODI win/loss since the 2017 World Cup
As a batting side Australia have the second highest run rate (5.50 rpo) in women’s ODIs since the 2017 World Cup, while England are third (5.10 rpo). Top spot is taken by New Zealand, thanks to their three 400+ totals vs Ireland last year.
England began their recent ODI series against West Indies by posting 318/9 at Grace Road, which is the venue for the first two ODIs of the Ashes series. In all, England have made seven 300+ totals in ODIs since the start of 2016, the most by any side during that period. A mark of how rapidly the game has changed can be seen in the fact that England made just six such totals from the start of the ODI era, in 1973, until the end of 2015. Both England and Australia made their highest totals of the 2017 World Cup at Grace Road.
While England (5.19 rpo) and Australia (5.21) have similar run rates for their first five wickets, Australia are streets ahead of the rest of women’s cricket when it come to their lower order run rate, averaging 7.02 rpo for wickets 6-10. The next best side are South Africa at 5.04 rpo, wile England score at 4.79 rpo. England will hope recent displays of hitting from Shrubsole and Ecclestone vs West indies can be repeated vs Australia.
If England are to win the series, their opening partnership is likely to be key. Since the 2017 World Cup, winning teams have averaged 50.35 for the first wicket, while losing sides have averaged 25.21. England have gone on to win the match on 9 of the 11 occasions they’ve put on 50+ runs for the 1st wicket.
Amy Jones and Tammy Beaumont are the highest scoring opening pair in women’s ODIs since the 2017 World Cup. Their 930 runs have come at an average of 62.00 and a run rate of 5.30 rpo. Jones & Beaumont have made a 50+ opening stand in each of their last six innings and their four century partnerships together are the joint most by any English women’s ODI opening pair.
Tammy Beaumont hasn’t been in quite the form that saw her recently claim Wisden Cricketer of the Year, but Jones has more than made up for that with career best form. Jones has scored five fifties in her last six innings.
England captain, Heather Knight is fast becoming a complete ODI batter. Her versatility was on display during the recent series vs West Indies. Knight helped set up the innings in the 1st ODI with a run a ball 94, and proved her worth as a finisher with 40* (19) in the third match of the series.
As captain Knight has 1,397 runs at 48.17 with a SR of 80.19, compared with 1,254 runs at 31.35 and a SR of 63.17, before the captaincy. Only Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, who batted just eight times in ODIs as England captain, had a higher average (68.75) as England women’s captain.
Among players to have batted 10+ times against them, Natalie Sciver (36.50), Heather Knight (35.70) and Sarah Taylor (35.17) have England’s three highest ODI averages vs Australia.
England’s major selection dilemma will be whether to pick Danni Wyatt or Fran Wilson in the middle order. Given her recent form, whether Sarah Taylor should still bat at #3, rather than lower in the order, is also up for debate.
This will be Australia captain Meg Lanning’s first chance to play an Ashes series since 2015, having missed the 2017/18 series due to shoulder surgery. Lanning has converted six of her last eight ODI fifties to hundreds, and was unbeaten in the two unconverted innings in that run. The last time she was dismissed after reaching fifty but before making a hundred, was on 5th February 2016.
While Lanning already has legitimate claim to being the greatest batter in women’s ODIs, by her own exalted standards, her current form constitutes something of a slump. Since the 2017 World Cup, Lanning averages 30.44 and has made just one fifty (converted to 124, of course). Lanning has made five scores of under 20 runs in her last seven innings. A 98 in Australia’s warm-up game vs England Academy on Sunday, suggests that (relatively) poor form may soon turn around.
In partnership with Ellyse Perry, Lanning averages 100.68 with eight century stands and five fifties in just 20 ODI innings.
Perry has been the leading run scorer in each of the last three women’s Ashes series. Since establishing herself in the top 5 at the start of 2014, she has the highest average in women’s ODIs (75.62), with 26 scores of fifty or more in 44 innings. In February, Perry followed up a stellar WBBL season (during which she made two centuries), with her maiden ODI hundred (107* vs NZ at Karen Rolton Oval). Perry has six 50+ scores in her last ten ODI innings vs England.
Ashleigh Gardner has the highest SR (min. 100 BF) in women’s ODIs since the 2017 World Cup (122.46). Only South Africa’s Chloe Tryon has hit ODI sixes more often (20.4 balls per six) than Gardner (23.0 Bp6) during that period.
Among the most under-sung players in women’s cricket, Nicole Bolton returns after taking time out of the game for her own well-being. Bolton made a century vs England on ODI debut in 2014, and averages 48.50 against them overall, the highest average vs England for any member of the Australia squad.
England are the most economical bowling side (4.21 rpo) since the 2017 World Cup, and Australia’s bowlers have the best collective SR (32.4). Australia have bowled out the opposition in seven of the twelve ODIs they’ve played since the 2017 World Cup, and never taken fewer than seven wickets in an innings during that time.
Sophie Ecclestone is the third highest wicket taker (27) in women’s ODIs since the 2017 World Cup. Her economy rate (3.57 rpo) is almost one run per over better than the average rate in the matches she’s played in during that period (4.54 rpo).
After struggling with injury in 2018, Katherine Brunt has 10 wickets at 13.40 and an ER of 3.19 rpo in 2019. With an average of 28.28 vs Australia, Brunt will once again be key to England’s Ashes chances. Apart from Georgia Elwiss, who has only bowled 3.0 overs against them, Brunt is the only member of England’s squad to average under 30 with the ball vs Australia.
Anya Shrubsole averages just 47.75 vs Australia, with just four wicket in her last eight meetings, but has been bowling faster this summer than she has for several years, so may be due a change of fortune.
Megan Schutt is Australia’s highest ODI wicket taker (23) since the 2017 World Cup and has an excellent career average vs England (19.16). Jess Jonassen has 21 wickets since the World Cup and has taken the best figures in the innings in four of her last six ODIs.
Ashleigh Gardner, with 18 wickets and an ER of 4.37 rpo has been as miserly with the ball as she has been explosive with the bat.
One of Australia’s most exciting selections for this series is Tayla Vlaeminck, who has the potential to be the fastest bowler in women’s cricket. So promising is Vlaeminck, that she made her international debut before even playing a WBBL match.
The team that has won the ODI series has won or retained the trophy in three of the four previous multi-format Women’s Ashes series. The only exception was the 2013/14 series. England’s Test win during that series saw them over the line, despite losing both limited overs series 2-1. Test wins have since been readjusted to four points, rather than six.
Since the last Ashes series in England in 2015 (England’s last before Mark Robinson took over as coach), England have the best home record in women’s ODIs (won 18, lost 3). During the same period, Australia have the strongest away record (won 20, lost 4).
Australia are strong favourites, but England are in good shape to challenge for their first bilateral ODI series win vs Australia since 2013.
Repeated comparisons to the World Cup in the build-up may seem outlandish, but underline for England at least, that just wining the ODI series would be a huge achievement. England have won more Women’s World Cups (4) than they have bilateral ODI series vs Australia (3).
Landmarks to look out for
Australia’s next ODI win will be their 250th.
Ellyse Perry’s 2nd match of the series will give her the most Women’s Ashes career appearances, beating Alex Blackwell (32). Sarah Taylor’s 2nd match of the series will see her overtake Charlotte Edwards (31) to become England’s most capped Women’s Ashes player.
Taylor needs 15 runs to become the second English woman to score 1,000 ODI runs against Australia. Taylor also needs 188 runs to become the first woman to score 4,000 ODI runs as keeper. Her Australian counterpart, Alyssa Healy is five runs away from becoming the 9th woman overall to score 1,000 women’s ODI runs as keeper, and ten away from overtaking Jodie Fields as Australia’s highest scoring keeper.
Katherine Brunt (51) needs 3 more wickets to become the highest all-format wicket taker in the Women’s Ashes, overtaking Betty Wilson (53). Perry is close behind on 49.
One wicket would make Perry the first player to achieve the double of 1,000 runs and 50 wickets in the Women’s Ashes.
If Nicole Bolton (1,889) scores the 111 runs required during this series, she will become the third fastest woman to score 2,000 ODI runs, only beaten by Australia legends Belinda Clark (41 innings) and Meg Lanning (45).
Jones and Beaumont need 62 runs to become the third English opening pair to score 1,000 women’s ODI runs.
2019 multi-format Women’s Ashes
1st ODI, Grace Road, Leicester, 2nd July
2nd ODI, Grace Road, Leicester, 4th July
3rd ODI, St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, 7th July
ENGLAND: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt
AUSTRALIA: Meg Lanning (c), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru