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Cross, England not giving up on Test

By Chris Pike
12 January 2014 04:14AM EST

ENGLAND lost a bowler, its captain and the ascendancy on Day 2 of the women's Ashes Test, but debutant pace bowler Kate Cross has warned Australia not to count on victory just yet.

England batted first in the only Test of the Ashes series that includes three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches with the winner decided with a points system of six for the Test, and two each for the limited overs clashes.

The English side were bowled out for 201 on the opening day, but hit back with the ball just before stumps leaving Australia 2-9 heading into Day 2 and then restricting the home side to 5-37 with debutant 22-year-old Cross playing a big role in that.

Cross picked up her first Test wicket with a beauty of a delivery to bowl Jess Cameron for five while getting rid of Alex Blackwell LBW in her next over, and then later picking up the Australian captain Jodie Fields for 43 as she finished with 3-35 from 18 overs.

"Obviously it was really good to be able to help out and contribute to the team that bowled Australia out," Cross said.

"It will probably be the one (wicket) that I remember for a while. I didn’t know what I was doing with it and obviously Cameron didn’t either, but I am going to remember that one for a while."

However, Australia wore down England's bowlers in the 40-plus degree temperatures in Perth and ended up taking a narrow first innings lead ending up all out for 207.

England then had to face a nasty nine-over session before stumps and lost three wickets to now be 3-18 heading into the third day with a lead of 12 with seven wickets in hand.

The second day also saw fast bowler Katherine Brunt banned from the attack for the rest of Australia's first innings after bowling two beamers, the second of which was directed at Ellyse Perry's head.

Cross and the fellow bowlers had to pick up the slack once Brunt had to leave the attack for the rest of the innings, but Cross knows her teammate will now be rearing to go in Australia's second innings run chase.

"I'd watch out for her in the second innings now," Cross said.

"It was frustrating and obviously disappointing to lose someone of Katherine's aggression and stature, but you just have to get on with it and we all pulled together, and still bowled out Australia out in the end.

"When you are playing in 45-degree heat it's always going to be difficult and then losing a bowler meant a few more overs for each of us, but we just tried to get on with it and did our best."

Australia's Perry knew that Brunt meant nothing by the accidental beamers as well.

"It was just one of those things and she certainly didn’t intend to bowl that, and being a bowler myself sometimes they just slip," Perry said.

"It was unfortunate because she is such an important part of their attack and it would have been nice to face a little bit more of her, but obviously she will get a chance to bowl again in this match and I'm sure she will come back strongly."

England also suffered another blow with captain Charlotte Edwards injuring her knee while fielding. Her absence from the field means she now can't bat until England is five wickets down, but England tried to use it to motivate them in the field.

"It actually pumped us up a little bit because it made us want to do it Lotte now that she was on the sidelines," she said.

"We had a 10-over spell where we really buzzed around again even though it wasn’t something good, but we still got something out of it."

Cross didn’t have family members on hand to watch her performance at the WACA Ground, but did have supporters who hung a banner bearing her name up in the Prindiville Stand and also gladly accepted some advice from her former Premier League footballer David ahead of her Test debut.

"I don’t have family here, but I had some friends up who actually put up a bed sheet for me. My family was all watching back home though, hopefully," she said.

"He just told me to enjoy it and not fear it. He is quite good with his words and he always encourages me, and knows what it's like to play sport at the highest level so it's good to have someone in the family that can kind of relate to what you are doing."

Cross is now desperately hoping the English batters can fight hard on the third day as she looks forward to the chance to live out a fast bowler's dream of bowling in the final innings of a cracking WACA wicket.

"We've already seen those cracks opening up and it's brilliant to get the opportunity to play at a ground like this, and playing on the same pitch that the men played on. It's just really exciting for women's cricket," Cross said.

"We haven’t really spoken about scores at this rate, but obviously we want to try and stay in the game as long as we can. There is still plenty in it for the bowlers and it's going to be hard for Australia to bat on day four on that wicket so there's a lot still in this game and we are pretty excited by that."

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