Monday, June 17, 2024

Women’s Ashes: Annabel Sutherland announces herself with record-breaking ton

Australia women’s cricket team has a new star on their hands in Annabel Sutherland, who smashed a record-breaking ton on Day 2 of their one-off Ashes Test against England Women, here on Friday.

The talented 21-year-old resumed play at Trent Bridge on 39 not out having come in down at number eight in a lengthy Australian batting line-up. And she was still out in the middle midway through the afternoon session as Australia’s innings finally came to an end, with the all-rounder unbeaten on 137 not out.

She followed it up by removing England opener Emma Lamb with an excellent delivery that just left the right-hander and tempted an edge through to second slip.

And speaking after her superb century, Sutherland said it was terrific to get the opportunity to show what she can do.

“It was pretty good fun out there. I absolutely love my batting so it was just really cool to spend some time out there,”she told host broadcaster Sky Sports.

“Get through last night, put on a good partnership with Ash. It was disappointing to see her get out, but it was nice to get a nice start this morning and get through to lunch,” she added.

Sutherland’s century was the fastest ever by an Australian woman and her knock is just the third time in the history of women’s Tests that a number eight has scored a century.

But while Sutherland is no tail-ender, she understands that forcing her way higher in the order in this Australian line-up is not an easy task.

“I’ve been telling the coach that for a little while,” she joked.

“I’m just happy playing my part in this team. We’ve got a pretty strong top order and it’s pretty hard to slot in, so it’s nice to just take the opportunity when I get the chance down at eight,” she added.

A positive sign for the future of Australian cricket is that Sutherland has some of the game’s greats to learn from. And fellow all-rounder Ellyse Perry is an obvious comparison in terms of style and skillset.

Perry fell just one run short of her third Test century as she added to a superb record in the format, moving her average up to 77.36, the second-highest in the history of the game.

And Sutherland name-checked her team-mate as a major inspiration.

“I think all throughout the team there’s great role models that I can pick their brain at any point. Ellyse Perry for one has been awesome for me – the way she goes about her cricket and the way she prepares as well,” said Sutherland.

“I’ve taken a lot from the way she goes about things and putting that into my own game,” she added.

The short-term aim for Sutherland is to help Australia win this Test and then the Ashes. But in the longer term you get the sense that the cricket world will be watching a lot of Annabel Sutherland.

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