Women's Ashes: England draw only Test with Australia

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport at Wormsley
Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards
Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards
Women's Ashes Test, Wormsley (day four of four):
Australia 331-6 dec and 231-5 dec v England 314 and 93-2
Match scorecard

England batted through the final afternoon of the Women's Ashes Test to earn a draw with Australia.

Chasing an improbable 249 to win from 45 overs, the home side reached 93-2 when hands were shaken at Wormsley.

Earlier, Australia captain Jodie Fields made an unbeaten 78 as the Southern Stars declared on 231-5.

The draw gives both teams two points in the new-look Ashes series, with the first of three one-day internationals taking place at Lord's on Tuesday.

The ODIs and the three Twenty20s that follow each carry two points for a win.

A victory in the Test would have earned six points and at various points on the fourth day both sides had hopes of success.

However, England could not build on the three wickets they took in the first session and Australia were unable to make inroads after they had recovered to bat the hosts out of the contest.

Indeed, it was the early dismissals of not-out pair Meg Lanning and Sarah Elliot that forced the tourists to rein in their morning aggression.

And, after Fields's rebuilding exercise, the declaration came too late for Australia to have enough time for England to be bowled out on a placid pitch.

With Australia resuming on their overnight 64-1, 81 ahead, Lanning, who had already been dropped by England captain Charlotte Edwards, got a leading edge off the seam of Anya Shrubsole and was caught at mid off.

In the next over, Lydia Greenway's direct hit from the covers had Elliott short of her ground.

Jess Cameron showed intent to smash Shrubsole over mid-wicket for six, but when she was caught by Edwards at square leg off Jenny Gunn, Australia were wobbling at 108-4.

They were steadied by Fields, who took the ascendancy in a 48-run partnership with Alex Blackwell for the fifth wicket.

After Blackwell was lbw looking to get after Laura Marsh's off-spin, Fields found another ally in Erin Osbourne for an unbroken partnership of 81 as Australia upped the tempo.

Twice she lofted spinner Danielle Hazell down the ground and regularly reverse-swept Marsh. As England retreated, the only question was how big a target Australia would set.

In the end, the declaration came 11 overs before tea and England openers Arran Brindle and Heather Knight faced few problems before Knight was run out by Ellyse Perry's direct hit from short fine leg.

But any chance of England panic in the final session was snuffed out by Arran Brindle and Sarah Taylor.

With the draw looming, Brindle tamely patted a return catch back to Elliott, leaving Taylor and Edwards to complete the formalities.

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