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England hold on with Heather Knight leading the charge

Women's Ashes Test, day two, report

Hit For Six!
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An unbeaten hundred from Heather Knight helped England stay afloat on day two of the only Women's Ashes Test at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

Reduced to 169/8, Knight and Sophie Ecclestone put on an unbeaten stand of 66 to give England solace late on day two of the only Women's Ashes Test. At stumps, England were 235/8, still trailing Australia by 102 runs.

Having lost openers Lauren Winfield-Hill and Tammy Beaumont early, England were 23/2 when Heather Knight and Nat Sciver looked to put on some resistance and bring some stability to the innings.

The duo added 23 in more than 13 overs before Australia struck again. Annabel Sutherland brought one back into the right-handed Sciver and the inside edge was snapped up by the wicket-keeper to leave England at 46/3.ย 

Ellyse Perry cleaned up Sophia Dunkley and Amy Jones was out caught at mid-on off Sutherland, but in between the two dismissals, Knight continued to score runs, milking the bowling and finding boundaries. Even a slog sweep for six came off her bat as she completed a fifty just before Jones gave her wicket away.

Another batter deserted Knight as Alana King trapped Katherine Brunt in front to leave England at 120/6. At tea, England were still at risk, needing 67 more runs to avoid a follow-on. While Charlotte Dean resisted for a bit, putting on a 30-run stand with Knight, Australia struck twice in six overs before Knight and Ecclestone joined hands and revived the innings a bit with a half-century stand.

By the time Anya Shrubsole was dismissed, Knight had gone into the nineties. With Ecclestone appearing more at ease than the rest of the batters, Knight grew in confidence. But she wouldn't have had the hundred if not for a dropped catch when she was on 94 - Jess Jonassen missing a return catch after a full stretch dive.

Earlier in the day, Australia resumed on 327/7 and lost Sutherland and Jess Jonassen in quick succession. Skipper Meg Lanning opted to declare and put England in with the morning dew still fresh enough. The decision reaped rewards with Brown and Perry hitting the right channels early on and troubling the top-order.

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