A freakish Ellyse Perry caught-and-bowled has brought Australia back into the crucial pink-ball women’s Ashes Test at North Sydney Oval.
Perry (2-48) claimed two scalps with the second new ball under lights, after England had repeatedly threatened to take full control of the Test but finished the day at 7-235.
It was a fortunate caught-and-bowled of England star Sarah Taylor that changed the tide of the contest in front of a crowd of 2805.
With England in control at 5-226, Taylor nailed a drive back at Perry in her follow through on 29.
The ball rebounded off Perry’s non-bowling arm as it was by her side and bounced on to her chest, before she took the catch to send a mystified Taylor on her way.
— Australia Women 🏏 (@SouthernStars) November 9, 2017
It came after Taylor had looked most comfortable against the second new pink ball under lights, whacking four boundaries in the first six overs after it was introduced.
The wicket left Perry in stitches and exposed England’s lower order late on the opening day as Australia aims to wrap up the series.
Katherine Brunt then fell to debutante Tahlia McGrath (2-35) to give her a second wicket, before Fran Wilson and Anya Shrubsole held on until stumps.
Perry had also earlier claimed the wicket of Georgia Elwiss (27) when she tried to pull the Australian allrounder but only succeeded in skying the ball to square leg.
Earlier, spinners Jess Jonnasen (2-52) and Amanda Wellington (1-56) claimed the key wickets of Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont after they put on a 104-run second wicket partnership.
Debutante Wellington got her maiden Test wicket when she drew Beaumont forward with a drifting and dipping legspinner that found the opener’s edge and had her caught at first slip for 70.
Beaumont had played well all over the ground until that point, but it was the kind of ball that befitted comparisons between Wellington and Shane Warne.
The more experienced Jonnasen also claimed two lbws to balls that may have just clipped leg stump.
The first sent Taylor on her way for 62 when she misjudged a sweep shot, before Natalie Sciver (18) became the first of four wickets to fall in the final session when she played onto a ball that skidded on.