Sydney Sixers captain and world leading allrounder Ellyse Perry has encapsulated why Breaker Rachael Haynes is so important to the women’s national team after the pair put Australia in a strong position on day two of the one-off Ashes Test against England in Taunton.
“Rach is one of the best team mates I’ve ever played with. I think she’s the consummate professional (and) a wonderful leader,” said Perry (116), who shared a 162-run partnership with Haynes (87) across day one and two.
Australia are currently 5/341 after rain prevented any play in the second and third sessions on Friday.
Perry scored her second successive Test century, in Taunton, following her 213 not out against England at North Sydney Oval in 2017 that remains the highest score by an Australian in Women’s Test cricket.
But unlike then, when Perry scored nearly 50 percent of Australia’s runs, Haynes played a crucial role at the other end in Taunton, occupying the crease for 246 balls.
“The way she plays the game, you can see how much she thinks about it and how much she knows her game. She always stumps up with an innings or something in the field when we need it,” Perry said about her former Breakers team mate.
Haynes, Australian vice-captain, fell an agonising 13 runs short of her first Test century despite an immense display of concentration that lasted a little more than four and a half hours. Perry was at the crease for nearly six.
Haynes’ highest test score is 98 on Test debut against England in Worcester 10 years ago. A debut she shared with Breakers great Leah Poulton and current Breakers' opening bowler, Sydney Thunder team mate Rene Farrell. Haynes has played just the five Tests.
“She knows exactly how to get the most out of everyone and I think we’re fortunate to have Rach and (Australian captain Meg Lanning) as a partnership like that.
“When Rach stepped in when Meg was out with her injury a year or two ago, she just found a way to connect with everyone in the team and make sure just how valuable they are to the group and their contributions.
“I think she’s just carried that on through the way she plays, but also her effect on everyone in the team. She’s by far and away the most intelligent, so I think she teaches us all something every day,” a chuckling Perry said.
A draw or win at The County Ground in Taunton will retain the Women's Ashes for Australia.