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England Spinner Sophie Ecclestone Leaves Australia in a Spin on Day 1
In the much-awaited multi-format Women’s Ashes series, England spinner Sophie Ecclestone led the charge as she took three crucial wickets to leave Australia struggling at Trent Bridge. After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Australia were cruising along comfortably until they lost their way dramatically. The visitors were going strong at 226-3 before losing three quick wickets for just 12 runs.
Ecclestone was instrumental in turning the tide England’s way with her two-wicket burst that saw her dismiss opener Alyssa Healy for a duck followed by all-rounder Ellyse Perry for an agonizing 99. Debutant Lauren Filer also chipped in with a vital scalp of Beth Mooney, caught at slip for 33.
The Australian innings was anchored by Tahlia McGrath and Ellyse Perry who stitched together a massive partnership of 119 runs. However, once McGrath was dismissed by Ecclestone after scoring an impressive half-century, there was no stopping England from making further inroads into the Aussie batting order.
Knight Turns to Ecclestone – And She Delivers!
Captain Heather Knight has often turned towards Sophie Ecclestone when England needed some inspiration and magic on-field – and Day One proved no different! With rain playing spoilsport intermittently during playtime, it gave enough opportunity for both teams to regroup and re-strategize their gameplans out on-field.
Eccleston bowled magnificently well throughout her spell of more than thirty overs while managing an economy rate below three-an-over which is mighty impressive considering how flat the pitch played out initially. The left-arm spinner had Jess Jonassen caught off the glove at short-leg before bowling wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy for a third consecutive duck in Ashes Test matches.
England Need Ecclestone Fit and Firing!
Ecclestone’s contribution to England’s cause cannot be overstated. She was the only bowler who looked like making any impact with her exceptional skills, breaking partnerships and picking up crucial wickets when needed the most. The fact that she bowled 30+ overs on Day One is an indication of how much England rely on their star spinner.
The five-day test match is worth four points in this multi-format series comprising three T20s and three ODI games against Australia. England must keep their main weapon fit and firing if they hope to win back The Ashes from their arch-rivals after losing it last time around Down Under.