Heather Knight and Meg Lanning

Australia look to seal the series as England eye comeback

Women’s Ashes, Only Test, Preview

Hit For Six!

Australia will look to take an unassailable 8-2 lead in the multi-format Women's Ashes series as they take on England in the only Test match in Canberra, starting on Thursday.

The hosts are currently leading the series 4-2 after winning the first T20I of the three-match leg by a massive margin of nine wickets while the remaining two games were washed out. As a result, England never got a chance to make a comeback in the T20Is and their chances of survival in this series now depend on the outcome of this solitary Test match.

The two sides have locked horns against each other in 50 Test matches since 1934. Australia have won 12 and England have been victorious on nine occasions, with 29 matches resulting in draws. Their last two Tests have ended in stalemate as well. The last time either side emerged victorious was in 2015 when Australia defeated the visiting English side by a massive margin of 161 runs. 

As far as this match goes, both sides are going into this contest with pretty strong squads once again. While Australia have experienced campaigners like Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner in their ranks, England can match that up with the skills of Heather Knight, Katherine Brunt, Tammy Beaumont, Nat Sciver and Danni Wyatt in their squad.

There will be some young talent on display as well. Tahlia McGrath has already shown in the T20Is what she is capable of. Young and upcoming uncapped seamer Lauren Bell has been added to the squad as well. She will be eager to make an impact, if given an opportunity.

With the fate of the series depending on the one-off Test, a captivating contest awaits considering the amount of talent in both squads.

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Remember the last time

The last time these two sides took on each other was in Taunton in 2019, the match ended in a draw. Ellyse Perry produced a batting masterclass as she scored 116 and an unbeaten 76 in each of the innings. Perry's century in the first innings helped Australia put on a huge total of 420/8d on the board.

Amy Jones and Nat Sciver scored important fifties and helped England reach a total of 275/9 before they declared as well. Australia had to bat again and made their way to 230/7, riding on Perry's unbeaten 86 until both sides had to settle for a draw with no time remaining in the match.

What they said

Meg Lanning (Australia Captain): "We're coming here to win. There's no doubt about that. That's all we've spoken about over the past few days is coming here and how can we best set up a victory. England are coming to do the same thing. So it's certainly not going to be easy, and we're going to have to sort of grind it out through certain periods of the game, but that's the way we're approaching it."

Heather Knight (England Captain): "There's a line of thought that if you bowl first you can dictate the game a little bit more, you still have to take 20 wickets but hopefully you have a chase at the end."

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