A food critic once wrote the best waiters are the ones you don’t even realise are there. Perhaps the same could be said for cricket umpires.
Ellyse Perry’s career-best batting performance turned the momentum Australia’s way in the women’s Ashes series against England at Bellerive.
The superstar engineered a stunning one-day victory thanks to an unbeaten 90 from 95 balls to keep the series alive.
The Ashes looked gone when the Southern Stars were 6-199 chasing 269, but Perry and Erin Osborne (40 from 25) put on 70 from 45 balls to steer their side to victory with three balls to spare.
The 23-year-old dual international said Australia, still needing to win all three Twenty20 games, could ride its momentum and clinch an unlikely series win.
“That’s the task that we have,” she said.
“We just see it as a really great challenge for our group and an opportunity to prove that we’re a world-class side, too.”
The Stars head into the T20 leg with two straight, sudden-death, one-day wins under their belts.
The tourists remain in the box seat following victories in the one-off Test and first one-day international.
But Perry said the Australians had learnt from the series loss in England last year to ride the wave when they had it.
“The momentum thing is really important,” she said.
“We learnt that in England, just how quickly you can get on top of a side and just hold that pressure.
“That’s something that we really need to do.”
Perry’s effort on Sunday was her highest international score in any form of the game after she made 71 in the Test and an unbeaten 65 in the first ODI.
England captain Charlotte Edwards said the young Australian was beginning to show her potential as a top-order batter.
“She was the difference between the two teams, ultimately, with going on and getting a big score,” Edwards said.
The England skipper admitted the change of formats could be good for her side.
“If we were playing two more ODIs, maybe the momentum would be with the Australians,” she said.
“We’re 8-4 up.
“I’d rather be in our position that theirs.”
England took six points in the series with their Test win and another two with victory in the first ODI.
Australia have four points from two ODI wins and can claim another six in the T20 matches.