Ashes in balance as England slump

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The Independent Online

The women's Ashes were on the line this morning as England and Australia entered the final day of their one-off Test with the result hanging tantilisingly in the balance. England needed to take nine wickets to retain the Ashes while Australia, 29 for 1 in the final innings of the game, needed another 169 to win after bowling the tourists out for 149 in Sydney.

Resuming on nine without loss, England lost openers Heather Knight and Caroline Atkins early on the third day before Lydia Greenway, who has had a poor Test after shining in the preceding Twenty20 series, was run out.

Captain Charlotte Edwards and Jenny Gunn rebuilt the innings with a partnership of 57 but a hat-trick from Rene Farrell (5 for 23) turned the tide back in Australia's favour.

Holly Colvin got her highest Test score of 21 as part of a handy partnership of 41 with Isa Guha to help the visitors recover from 106 for 8, with England's eventual dismissal leaving the hosts a target of 198 to chase.

Katherine Brunt removed Australia opener Rachael Haynes in the third over of the innings, but the hosts managed to avoid any further setbacks to set up an intriguing final day. Gunn said: "We have runs on the board so the pressure is on them.

"It was good to build a partnership with Charlotte in the middle and Holly and Isa made a good contribution. We picked up a wicket with the new ball and have another shot. A couple of wickets and the pressure is all on them."