Women’s Ashes 2014: Australia beat England to keep series alive
|Women's Ashes: Third ODI, Hobart|
|Australia 269-6 (49.3 overs) beat England 268-4 (50 overs) by four wickets|
Australia kept the Women's Ashes series alive with a four-wicket win in the final one-day international in Hobart.
England now lead 8-4 in the points-based series and need to win one of the three Twenty20s to secure the Ashes.
Heather Knight and Sarah Taylor struck fifties and Natalie Sciver a rapid unbeaten 43 as England made 268-4.
But Ellyse Perry hit an unbeaten 90, adding an unbroken 70 with Erin Osborne (40 not out) to snatch victory with three balls to spare.
Victory - worth two points - was Australia's second in succession, but England will feel they should have retained the trophy on Australia Day given that the home side needed 70 from the final eight overs.
Yet Perry and Osborne recorded boundaries at regular intervals, taking 12 runs off a Kate Cross over to reduce the requirement to 21 off the last 18 balls.
Perry struck Jenny Gunn for six, only six were needed from the final over from Sciver, and an Osborne edge for four took them to their target.
Perry, who also plays football for Australia, said: "It's really hard to count either side out of any game. It was a great effort by us to chase that."
Edwards said: " We didn't do too much wrong. The difference was one of their players went on to a big score. We won't dwell on this too much.
"We're still in a good position. We've just lost two games but it works in our favour that we're playing a different format."
Things had started promisingly for England after they won the toss, Knight sharing 79 with captain Charlotte Edwards.
Taylor helped add 41 at close to a run a ball before Knight was run out for 57, and Taylor's attractive 64 from 57 balls ended when she picked out Jess Cameron.
Although Sciver managed some lusty blows late on to bolster England's total, the Australia reply began well courtesy of skipper Meg Lanning's 40 off 30 balls.
Cameron and Nicole Bolton - a centurion on debut in the second ODI - fell in quick succession, but Alex Blackwell's 18th ODI half-century kept the hosts in touch.
Three wickets fell in six overs to leave Australia 199-6 in the 42nd over, before Osborne joined Perry for the match-winning stand.
Perry struck seven fours and a six, while Osborne's innings spanned only 25 balls.
The first Twenty20 takes place on Wednesday, also in Hobart, before the men's encounter.