Plymouth's Knight stands firm for England against Australia
A resolute performance from opener Heather Knight provided some much-needed backbone for England Women on day two of their Ashes Test against Australia Women at Wormsley.
Plymouth’s Knight finished 85 not out at stumps having faced 225 balls, a disciplined effort without which England’s 172 for six would have looked considerably worse.
The tourists had earlier declared on 331 for six, Sarah Elliott turning her overnight score of 95no into 104 before Anya Shrubsole had her caught by Lydia Greenway.
Australia had resumed on 243 for three after a productive opening day and added 88 runs for the loss of three wickets before calling time on their innings.
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Alex Blackwell reached 54 before Laura Marsh trapped her lbw, with Katherine Brunt taking the remaining wicket when she clean bowled Jodie Fields.
Elyse Perry, meanwhile, brought forward the declaration by smashing 31no in just 24 balls.
While Knight, who used to open the batting for Plymstock in the Devon League, remained steadfast at one end, the hosts lost the rest of their top order cheaply.
Perry drew first blood by dismissing Arran Brindle and newcomer Holly Ferling took the prize scalps of Sarah Taylor (33) and Charlotte Edwards (three).
The middle order also folded around Knight, Erin Osbourne claiming the wickets of Greenway, Tammy Beaumont and Jenny Gunn for single figures.
Knight finally found someone to stick in with her, Laura Marsh occupying the crease for just over two hours for her 13no.