A great English victory beckons

Something I thought I would never see, well not in this decade anyway, appears to be unfolding at New Road, Worcester, today.

It’s lunch on Day Three of the Second Women’s Test between England and Australia. The visitors made 131 in their first innings. England, after being 227 for 9 at the close of the second day, advanced to 289 all out. Australia faced sixteen overs before lunch. They are currently 13 for 3.

If England win today, they will take the series 1-0 and reclaim the Women’s Ashes.

If this is Belinda Clark’s final Test for Australia, she is going out on one helluva low. She started this match 101 runs short of being the first Australian woman to score 1000 Test runs (so rare are women’s Test matches). On Wednesday, she made 18 in the first innings. This morning, she added another 2. That’s 919 runs at 45.95. (For the record, seven women have scored 1000 Test runs, five from England and one each from New Zealand and India. They’re listed here.)

Another whose international career appears to be drawing to a close is Clark’s opening partner Lisa Keightley. Immortalised in 1998 as the first woman to score a century at Lord’s, Keightley has scored 11, 0, 5 and 0 in this Test series – 16 runs at 4.00.

As Flintoff surges towards a hundred at Trent Bridge, it’s worth noting the achievements of Kathryn Brunt so far in the Worcester Test, having taken 5/47 in Australia’s first innings and then scoring 52 at number ten, including a last-wicket partnership of 85 with Isa Guha.

A quite historic occasion is unfolding. Let’s hope the British media pay attention tomorrow.

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