I definitely enjoyed it – Lauren Filer basks in England debut to remember

I definitely enjoyed it – Lauren Filer basks in England debut to remember

Lauren Filer was beaming but exhausted after a memorable England debut in which she claimed the prized wicket of Australia linchpin Ellyse Perry on the opening day of the Women’s Ashes.

Filer lived up to her billing as a pacy threat, unsettling Australia’s batters from the off as she made an instant impact by thudding one into the pads of Perry with her first delivery in international cricket.

Perry, on 10 at the time, overturned the decision on review and went on to make a sparkling 99 for her fifth 50-plus score in 10 Tests against England, but a ton went begging as she nailed Filer to gully.

Filer also snared another dangerous batter in Beth Mooney to finish an eventful opening day of the multi-format series with two for 65 as Australia went to stumps on 328 for seven at Trent Bridge.

“I definitely enjoyed it,” the 22-year-old said. “It was a bit of a surreal experience. But it was a good day. I’m a bit tired now.

“I get brought on to bowl quickly and try to keep the pace up and keep charging in. I knew I wasn’t going to be on very long so was just trying to take advantage of the balls I did have.

“I just tried to focus on myself and tried to bowl quick and bring attacking bowling into the team. I tried to keep all the external bits out and focus on myself.

“It was obviously really good news (when she found out she would play). It’s weird – I didn’t feel too bad until five minutes before we were on the pitch. When I fielded my first ball I settled down a bit.”

Filer thought she had made the dream start to life with England as the umpire’s finger went up after her first ball, but Perry’s use of DRS was vindicated as replays detected an inside edge on to her pads.

“When it hit the pads I was just screaming,” Filer added. “I did hear two noises, but I thought it was pad first. Obviously it wasn’t out, but it was a good confidence boost to get into my spell.”

Filer was given the nod over Issy Wong and came in for glowing praise from Perry, whose Test batting average climbed into high 70s in her 11th match following the standout knock on the first of five days.

“I had a really great tussle with Filer the whole time,” Perry said. “I thought she has extremely impressive on debut and brought the game alive at different points.”

Sophie Ecclestone was also a class apart as England’s sole frontline spinner, finishing with figures of 31-6-71-3, which included two wickets in three balls during a mammoth spell of 28 consecutive openers.

Sophie Ecclestone led England's fightback against Australia (Tim Goode/PA)
Sophie Ecclestone led England’s fightback against Australia (Tim Goode/PA)

Following a near two-hour rain delay, Ecclestone led England’s fightback by snaring Jess Jonassen and then bowling Australia captain Alyssa Healy for a two-ball duck, having earlier found a hint of turn to clip the off-stump of Tahlia McGrath, who contributed a Test-best 61 in a 119-run union with Perry.

“She’s a bit of a bowling machine,” Filer said, after she and England’s other seamers went at more than four an over.
“Bowling for two hours is pretty impressive, I’ve never really seen anyone do that.

“She makes the bowlers at the other end comfortable doing what they’re doing because she goes for nothing. If I go for four or a couple of boundaries I know that she’s got my back at the other end.”

Australia fell from 202 for two to 238 for six after Perry’s dismissal but rebuilt through Ashleigh Gardner’s 40 and an unbeaten 39 from Annabel Sutherland to get past 300.

Asked about her downfall one run short of three figures, Perry was pragmatic as she said: “Sometimes things just go that way, it’s hard to be disappointed.

“There’s not really much to dwell on there, it’s just like any other time you get out – it’s a bit of a bummer but gosh the game goes on and life goes on for sure.”