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Perry misses ton by one as Aussies dominate England in Ashes opener despite delayed DRS drama

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22nd June, 2023
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Ellyse Perry says she won’t dwell on falling agonisingly short of a record-equalling third Test century after being caught for 99 before Australia went to stumps at 7-327 on day one of the Ashes.

Australia’s best player for the past decade, Perry went within a whisker on Thursday of joining Jill Kennare and Betty Wilson as the nation’s only players with three Test tons.

But her hopes of three figures were dashed when she cut England debutante Lauren Filer to Nat Sciver-Brunt in the gully on 99, one ball after narrowly evading the same fielder. 

“It’s a number, and one we talk about a lot in cricket,” Perry said. “But the whole experience out there today was so much fun. I love every opportunity. Sometimes things just go that way, it’s hard to be disappointed.

Australia's Ellyse Perry during day one of the first Women's Ashes test match at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Picture date: Thursday June 22, 2023. (Photo by Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images)

Australia’s Ellyse Perry during day one at Trent Bridge. (Photo by Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images)

“There’s just not really much to dwell on there. It’s like every time you get out, it’s a bummer. But the game goes on and life goes on for sure.”

Still, Perry’s Trent Bridge innings has given Australia the upper hand after the first day of the sole Test at the start of the multi-format series.

Until her dismissal the 32-year-old guided anything short to the boundary between deep-third and point, while also being dominant on the cover drive. 

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She produced one of the shots of the day when she sent star England spinner Sophie Ecclestone to the cover boundary with the first ball she bowled, and later took 16 off one Kate Cross over.

Perry’s innings took her average to 77.36 and just shy of fellow Australian Denise Annett’s mark of 81.90, which remains the highest in the history of women’s Test cricket for players with 10 innings or more.

Perry’s wicket came amid a minor collapse of 3-12 for Australia, after a sweeping Jess Jonassen was caught in close off Ecclestone following a delayed DRS review.

Ecclestone then went wide of the crease and took a ball past Alyssa Healy’s edge to take her off stump on zero, marking her third straight duck in Test cricket.

Ecclestone (3-71) was by far England’s best on the opening day, after also producing a peach of a delivery to drift and spin one past Tahlia McGrath to bowl her on 61 and end a 119-run third-wicket stand with Perry.

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But after the flurry of wickets, Ashleigh Gardner (40) and Annabel Sutherland (39no) stabilised before Gardner was caught behind off Lauren Bell shortly before stumps

Earlier, Phoebe Litchfield made 23 opening on debut for Australia, but failed to review when given out lbw leaving a delivery that ball-tracking showed would have missed off stump.

Beth Mooney also made 33, before she became Filer’s (2-65) first Test wicket when she edged into the gully.

Jonassen’s dismissal was clouded in controversy after England took approximately 20 seconds to ask for a review.

She was caught in close trying to sweep Ecclestone, but the appeal was initially turned down on-field by on-field umpire Anna Harris.

It then took several seconds for the DRS countdown timer to appear on the Trent Bridge big screen, before England finished deliberating and opted to review.

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Replays of the incident show it took approximately 20 seconds for England to decide to send the decision upstairs, where Jonassen was given out with the ball brushing her glove.

Under ICC rules, players have 15 seconds to launch a review.

“The total time elapsed between the ball becoming dead and the review request being made shall be no more than 15 seconds,” playing conditions state.

“If the on-field umpires believe that a request has not been made within the 15 second time limit, they shall decline the request for a player review.”

Perry said there was no objection from Australia on-field over England’s ability to review.

“From a player perspective, whether it is England or us, that is the time that was given and put up on the screen,” Perry said.  “How long that took to come up, I am not sure. It’s something perhaps the officials can review. 

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“But from a playing perspective you just have to adapt to whatever is out there and I think there were five seconds left on the clock.”

It is not the first time Australia have been on the wrong side of a DRS situation in the match, albeit with the first one entirely self-inflicted.

The Test kicks off the multi-format series, with four points on the line in this match and then two points available for each of the three ODIs and three T20s.

Australia have held the Ashes since 2015, winning or drawing the past four series.

© AAP

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