by Rex Clementine

There’s a need for more women’s Test matches and it was evident by the fact that big numbers turned up at Trent Bridge with all broadsheets sending their top-notch cricket writers and there were lots of eyeballs watching the telecast.

There have been reservations about women’s Test matches for the fear of the game not lasting the full distance, but in Nottingham those fears were put to rest as a closely fought contest finished on the final day.

This was a one-off Test match that Australia won by 89 runs and collected four points. There are three ODIs and three T-20 Internationals with each game carrying two points. The team with the most points at the end of the white ball series will walk away with the Women’s Ashes.

It was Alyssa Healy’s first game as captain and she showed courage playing with two broken fingers. Her gutsy efforts may well have helped Aussies to take early lead in the multi format series.

Healey, the niece of Australian legend Ian and wife of another legend Mitchell Starc, picked up a second ball duck in the first innings.

There was very little to chose between the teams in the first innings as Australia posted 473 all out and England matched up equally well scoring 463.

Healy’s half-century in the second innings proved to vital as Australia collapsed. Her efforts helped them to set a target of 268 and there was enough wear and tear on the pitch for off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner to make an impact.

The 26-year-old from Sydney picked up career best figures of eight for 66 as Australia reduced England to 178 runs in the second innings to seal the game. She finished with a match bag of 12 wickets and chipped in with runs with the bat to completely dominate proceedings.

Tammy Beaumont’s career best 208 was in vain but England batters were guilty of not supporting their opener, who fought a lone battle and was last batter dismissed.

It was a momentous effort filled with discipline and focus as Beaumont occupied the crease for over eight hours. She faced 331 deliveries during her marathon and put away 27 boundaries.