Lauren Filer gives England hope as Australia build lead in Ashes Test

pa ready, australia, england, ellyse perry, nat sciver-brunt, england cricket, nottingham, lauren filer gives england hope as australia build lead in ashes test

Lauren Filer, second left, removed Ellyse Perry and Tahlia McGrath (Tim Goode/PA) (PA Wire)

Lauren Filer made a crucial double breakthrough for England but Australia stretched their lead to 167 in the one-off Women’s Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

Cross atoned for dropping Phoebe Litchfield minutes into the fourth morning by uprooting the off-stump of the Australia opener, out leaving for the second time in the match on her Test bow.

England debutant Filer, meanwhile, accounted for the highly-rated Ellyse Perry and then took out the leg stump of Tahlia McGrath, but Beth Mooney’s unbeaten 73 helped to lift Australia to 157 for three.

Mooney put on 99 with Litchfield (46) and 50 with Perry (25) and was the beneficiary of being dropped on 55 as Nat Sciver-Brunt, having only bowled five overs in the first innings before a sore knee, spilled a difficult return catch with her first delivery in Australia’s second dig.

Despite Tammy Beaumont’s historic double century on Saturday, Australia had edged ahead through Mooney and Litchfield, who outlined her intentions on the penultimate morning with an uppish drive at Sophie Ecclestone. She was reprieved after Cross spilled a simple waist-high chance at extra cover.

Cross required strapping on her left thumb but was able to continue bowling, and the England seamer’s drop proved not to be too costly as she got a delivery to jag back alarmingly towards Litchfield, who offered no shot and lost her off stump.

There was movement and spin in sunny and blustery conditions but England were largely unable to take advantage. Mooney offered a sharp caught and bowled chance after passing 50 but Sciver-Brunt could not cling on in her follow-through despite getting both hands to the ball.

Heather Knight’s off-spin drew the outside edge of Perry on 21 but the ball flew between wicketkeeper and slip, but the talismanic Australia all-rounder’s luck ran out soon after as, leaning back and shaping to cut, she merely inside edged on to her stumps.

Cheered on by the Nottingham crowd, Filer struck in her next over as a fuller, pacy delivery proved too much for McGrath, whose leg stump was flattened, in a second successive wicket maiden for the England youngster.

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