Stream, Canberra weather, start time, how to watch, rain

The main event of the women’s Ashes arrives on Thursday with the start of the one-off Test between Australia and England.

The series is delicately poised heading into day one at Manuka Oval (first ball 10am AEDT) after rain cruelled the T20 leg of the series, with two of three matches unable to achieve a result.

It means that Australia only leads 4-2 having secured a dominant nine-wicket win in the only completed T20 match of the series last week.

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MATCH CENTRE: Live scoreboard, Australia vs England, day one

England captain Heather Knight won the toss and elected to field first — and the call paid immediate dividends, with two wickets within the first four overs.

Star Aussies opener-keeper Alyssa Healy was dismissed caught-behind for an eight-ball duck off Katherine Brunt’s bowling in the third over. Four balls later, Beth Mooney gifted Amy Jones her second catch and Anya Shrubsole ger first scalp, with the left-hander out for three to leave the Aussies 2-4.

“I think both dismissals that we’ve seen this morning is a little bit of lack of discipline from the Australians — just following balls,” dual World Cup champion Julia Price told Fox Cricket.

Earlier, Australia made a huge selection call, with gun bowler Megan Schutt surprisingly not selected for the one-off Test. NSW fast bowler Trent Copeland labelled it an “aggressive” selection call in Twitter.

Cricket Australia told reporters conditioning was a concern for Schutt after having COVID-19 earlier in the month. Selectors were reluctant to risk her with ODIs to come in this series and the ODI World Cup in New Zealand.

“That’s a huge blow,” Isa Guha told Fox Cricket.

“Effectively Darcie Brown is going to be leading the attack, maybe with Ellyse Perry, who hasn’t had a lot of cricket coming into this.”

Leg-spinner Alana King will make her Test debut, while skipper Meg Lanning has dropped down the batting order to No. 5.

The Test match carries the greatest value of the series with four points available to the winner.

It means Australia can win the Ashes in Canberra but, by the same token, England could surge into the lead with three ODIs remaining.

Either way, teams may need to make headway early in the Test with up to 15 millimetres of rain and a storm forecast in Canberra for day three.

There will be a sense of cruel deja vu for England who is chasing the series in Australia nearly two years after its 2020 T20 World Cup campaign was destroyed by rain in Sydney.

McGrath shines in early Ashes win | 03:35

Meanwhile, Australia star Beth Mooney is still unable to eat without the aid of a straw and a blender, but that won’t stop her from plotting the demise of the English bowling attack on day one.

A wayward cricket ball broke Mooney’s jaw at training earlier this month and captain Meg Lanning said the star batter’s high-speed recovery had inspired the Aussies ahead of the clash with their most bitter rival.

“It’s pretty incredible. Right from the moment she got hit, she was pretty positive about the whole situation,” Lanning said ahead of the Test.

“She looks really good in the nets and in the field, so she’s confident she’ll have no issues moving forward.

“To be coming back to be playing international cricket around a week after having jaw surgery is pretty inspirational for the group.”

Aussie staff have kept a close eye on Mooney. Picture: Mark Evans / Getty Images
Aussie staff have kept a close eye on Mooney. Picture: Mark Evans / Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Australia’s dietitian, doctor and physiotherapist have masterminded a meal plan to fuel Mooney ahead of the long days on the pitch in the nation’s capital.

“She’s only on a liquid diet at the moment, which doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. Not a lot of variety,” Lanning said.

“Obviously with a Test match, the longer format, you obviously need to have (energy) over a long period of time, but they’ve done a great job.

“Moons has coped with it really well, so she’ll be ready to go.”

Speaking of the rain, Lanning said the chance of wet weather wouldn’t factor into Australia’s game plan.

“We’re coming here to win, there’s no doubt about that,” she said.

“That’s all we’ve spoken about over the past few days; how can we best set up a victory.

“There’s a bit of weather around, but I think there’s no reason why we can’t make that up over the four days if we do have a little bit of time taken out.

“Pretty confident we’ll get a good amount of time in through the game.”


Watch the one-off Women’s Ashes Test on Kayo. Every Test, T20 & ODI Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >


Australia XI: Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Darcie Brown

England XI: Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Heather Knight (c), Nat Sciver, Sophia Dunkley, Amy Jones (wk), Katherine Brunt, Charlie Dean, Anya Shrubsole, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross


January 27-30, 10am: Test match, Manuka Oval

Thursday, February 3, 2.10pm: First ODI, Manuka Oval

Sunday, February 6, 10.05am: Second ODI, Junction Oval

Tuesday, February 8, 10.05am: Third ODI, Junction Oval

Follow all the action in our live blog below, or tap here if you can’t see the blog.

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