Healy to 50!
Ecclestone leaves the ground injured
Ecclestone hurt; drinks taken
WICKET! Bolton b Brunt 6 (Australia 25-1)
Australia has won the toss and will bat
Welcome to the Women’s Ashes Test!
Good morning from Taunton! We are roughly ten minutes from the toss and I come with news off the top. Three Australians are winning their baggy greens today: Ash Gardner, Tayla Vlaeminck and Sophie Molineux. For England, Amy Jones and Kirstie Gordon are set to make their Test Match bows.
For the visitors, it was a brilliant touch having Dan Christian on deck to present Gardner with the famous cap. Of course, the two of them captained the teams that toured England last summer to mark 150 years since the trailblazing Indigenous Australians visited this country to play in 1868. Mitch Starc welcomed Vlaeminck, a fellow speedster, to the fold while Belinda Clark, the interim boss of high performance and former dominant skipper, gave the speech for Molineux.
The latter, a big turner of the ball with her left-arm orthodox, will like the look of the pitch. There has been some debate as to what constitutes a used surface, but the facts are that it was last played on for the Afghanistan vs New Zealand World Cup game on 8 June. There are some very helpful footmarks on show outside the off-stump for left-handers at the River End. We’ll see how that all plays out.
England do need a result well inside the four days with rain forecast tomorrow. A draw is enough for Australia to retain the trophy having swept the ODIs three-zip a couple of weeks ago, the third in spectacular fashion when Ellyse Perry took 7/22.
I’ll be back with the formal teams and toss shortly. I’m looking forward to your company throughout the day – and week – in the usual way. Do drop me a line.