Historic Women's Ashes Test delivers box office affair as Australia, England continue to push for five-day Tests
Australia defeated England by 89 runs on Day 5 of the one-off Test in the Women's Ashes in Nottingham.
After a riveting contest in the first Test of the men's Ashes, the women played their part and gave the fans an intriguing contest in their one-off Test to kick off the Women's Ashes. Alyssa Healy-led Australia defeated England by 89 runs in Nottingham on Day 5.
Alyssa Healy, who captained Australia in the absence of Meg Lanning, spoke about the importance of having five-day Tests and how teams can breathe easier when they do not have to manipulate results, like in the case of four-day affairs.
"First and foremost, how good is it to have a result, and I'm pleased to be on the right end of it. I guess, when you take the pressure off the captains and the teams to try and manipulate a result, it probably makes a little bit easier, but we'll have to wait and see how [five days for women's Tests] pans out. Even if it's just a potential of a reserve day, if there is rain, that wouldn't be such a bad idea," the wicketkeeper-batter said at the post-match presentations.
Losing captain Heather Knight, who has batted for five-day Tests for a long time, congratulated the Aussies but also commended her teammates for not going down without a fight.
"I've been quite vocal about having five days and I think today - and the whole five days, actually - showed why that was," she said. "Credit to Australia. They were outstanding, but our girls went toe to toe with them for a hell of a long time. And that was really impressive."
Ashleigh Gardner, who picked up eight wickets in the second innings and 12 in the game, was rightfully chosen as the Player of the Match. She also spoke about how crucial an extra day could be in helping teams get a result.
"It just shows having five days in the Test match to actually get a result is super-important."
England began Day 5, requiring 152 runs with five wickets in hand. Danielle Wyatt and Kate Cross added 25 runs before Gardner dismissed the latter. Wicketkeper Amy Jones also departed soon, and England were looking down the barrel. They lost their last three wickets for just three runs, losing by 89 in the end.
The action will now shift to the T20 format as England take on Australia in the first of three T20Is on July 1 in Birmingham.