Amy Jones and Natalie Sciver both hit 50s as England Women finished day three of the Kia Women’s Test 221 runs behind Australia heading.
Australia added 60 to their overnight score for the loss of three wickets. Jess Jonassen was caught well at gully by Sciver off the bowling of Katherine Brunt and Sophie Molineux was bowled by Sophie Ecclestone.
Jones then pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss Beth Mooney who, shortly after reaching 50, got a leading edge to Sciver high towards third man. Jones raced back and took the ball well over her shoulder – the wicket was enough for Australia captain Meg Lanning to call her team in for a declaration.
England’s reply didn’t have the ideal start, losing Tammy Beaumont for a duck, but Jones and Heather Knight knuckled down for a 79-run partnership.
Knight was out LBW to Molineux – the first of her three wickets in the day – for 28. Georgia Elwiss was run out by a direct hit for nine before Jones was dismissed for 64 trying to hit Molineux over the top and being caught at mid-off.
Sciver and Brunt put on 57 for the sixth wicket, with Sciver reaching her maiden Test fifty in the extended final session.
England resume on 199 for six on the final day, with Sciver (52*) and Anya Shrubsole (1*) looking to get closer to Australia’s first innings of 420 for eight.
Natalie Sciver: We’re trying our hardest out there – obviously losing a few wickets doesn’t help things and that dictates the way we play going forward. As a team we fought really hard.
“Amy batted really well and really fluently. We needed to play attacking cricket and she got out doing that, so we can’t really fault that. It’ll be a fight tomorrow as well.
“We didn’t think too much about the score, but we knew we needed to play positively. It has gone the other way a little bit – the pitch is doing a bit and they’ve got some good spinners. If we do get in a position where we can make Australia bat again then we’ve got some world-class spinners in our team to hopefully take some wickets.”