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Cricket - 06. November 2017.

England Vs Cricket Australia XI draw at Blacktwon

England batted two sessions before declaring on 305-7 and taking seven wickets in the last period as their three-day pink-ball warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI ended in a draw.

Heather Knight and Nat Sciver opened the day's batting

England enjoyed a good workout on day three of their pink-ball warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI at Blacktown, batting two sessions and taking seven wickets in the last period of the day as the game ended in a draw.

Nicely poised going into the final day, the visitors needed a good start to get on the front foot and turn the day into one where they could make the call around a potential declaration – and indeed factor in who needed further preparation with either bat or ball – but captain Heather Knight fell early, chasing one outside off from Piepa Cleary and nicking behind for 35.

At that point the game was very much on but Knight’s dismissal brought Sarah Taylor to the crease and, with Nat Sciver for company, England began to look fluent.

The balance between defence and attack has been much-discussed in the lead-up to the Test match, especially given the number of Test matches played in women’s cricket, but England will take heart from the partnership of Sciver and Taylor – who put on 61 while looking relatively untroubled.

When Sciver was bowled for 42 it was Fran Wilson who emerged at No.7, with the visitors taking the chance to reshuffle their pack and get everyone some game-time.

Having not been picked in the starting XI it represented a good chance for Wilson to stake her claim and she did just that, compiling an impish 45 from just 60 deliveries and maintaining the momentum of the previous pair.

It was an innings full of her trademark flicks and dabs and it would have done her claims of making the team for Thursday’s Test match no harm at all.

She was eventually out, lbw attempting to reverse-sweep Strano, but her 64-run partnership with Taylor had made the result academic.

Jenny Gunn was unable to make much of an impression with the bat, bowled without scoring, but Taylor continued, ably supported by Katherine Brunt who revelled in attacking with the declaration imminent.

The duo complemented each other nicely, with Brunt forceful through the covers and Taylor stylish through the leg-side and behind square.

They took the score to 305-7 declared, with Taylor unbeaten on 85 and Brunt 43, giving Anya Shrubsole and Kate Cross four overs before the interval to have a dart at the CA XI openers.

They survived unscathed but Cross took her third of the match shortly after the interval, Sophie Molineux top-edging to Georgia Elwiss on the leg-side boundary.

Laura Marsh took just one ball to make it two, Georgia Redmayne clipping to Wilson at mid-wicket who clung on to make it 52-2, but that didn’t deter CA XI from playing their shots.

Heather Graham and Nicola Carey were determined to have a go and they added 75 in 12 overs before Marsh got Graham leg-before.

Knight inserted herself into the attack and brought around a late tumbling of wickets. Firstly she saw the back of Stalenberg and in her next over Carey – just after reaching her half-century – was run out by Danni Wyatt at mid-wicket.

There was still time for the skipper to grab two more wickets and earn the tidy figures of 3-12 but there wasn’t quite enough time for England to force a victory. 

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