Half a century for four of the top five Australians on the first day, the only test between the teams means that England is facing a tough fight to win the victory, which would maintain the hope of recovering the ashes.
Australian captain Meg Lanning won the litter and decided to play in a used field. Both teams selected three spinners in anticipation of a turn. But on the first day, there was little sign of great support as her team took the best of precautions to get into a strong position.
They did not all have their own opportunities, Katherine Brunt struck in the seventh round and capped Nicole Bolton for 6, who held the line and hit the offside spot. But that was as good as it could be with the rest of the Australian fighters, who were all fifty when they reached the final on 265/3.
Alyssa Healy shot away before Kirstie Gordon wrapped her legs for 58 while Lanning calmed down before Sophie Ecclestone rattled her stumps for 57.
It was a good deal of bowling, and the left one made you go straight, the result of a time when he had set up Lanning and previously averted it on a stump line. From another perspective, it was encouraging for England, as Ecclestone had previously been injured after a catch, although the injury to opener Tammy Beaumont, who was hit on the short leg, looked more serious and she was later sent for an X-ray.
However, this Lanning scalp would be the last of the day, with star all-rounder Ellyse Perry and Rachael Haynes lining up for the fourth wicket with 105 points. Their runs were slowing to just over two as the ball got older, but Australia will not mind that.
For the tourists, a stalemate would keep the ashes the first time, if England had to win the multi-format series to win back the urn. Since the weather will also matter, on the second day they need something special to keep their hopes alive.