sport

England women fight back

England women came unstuck against Australia's excellent bowling attack but then hit back on the opening day of the Ashes Test at the WACA.

Arran Brindle and Natalie Sciver were the only players to pose problems with the bat, with the former's gritty 68 boosting England's total to 201 all out after they had chosen to bat.

Rene Farrell was the pick of the Australian attack with four for 43 off 18.1 overs and fellow opening bowler Ellyse Perry took three wickets as the home side bowled with purpose and precision to restrict England's scoring opportunities.

Yet their momentum was halted when Anya Shrubsole accounted for openers Meg Lanning and Elyse Villani as Australia closed on 9-2.

Villani departed in the second over of Australia's reply after edging to Heather Knight at first slip, while Lanning followed suit when she was caught behind.

It ruined a good day's work for Australia, who were largely in control of the one-off, four-day Test, which holds a third of the points available in this multi-format series.

England captain Charlotte Edwards (17) and Knight saw off the threat of Farrell and Perry but Knight went for 14 after offering a catch to Jess Cameron off Holly Ferling's third ball.

That wicket, in a repeat of the fate that has recently dogged their male counterparts Down Under, marked the start of a collapse as the tourists slipped from 28 without loss to 32-3.

Lydia Greenway and Brindle arrested the slide with a partnership of 64 but they were soon in trouble again when Greenway was bowled by Perry.

Brindle, though, was proving stubborn to Australia's bowlers and brought up her half-century with her ninth four.

She had put on 58 for the fifth wicket with Sciver before she was bowled by Farrell after a fine 68 off 126 balls.

Sciver also frustrated Australia's bowlers with a watchful innings but she fell one run short of a 50 on her Test debut after edging Sarah Coyte behind as England lost their last four wickets for just 12 runs.