Edwards holds off Australia as English women keep the Ashes

Australia 309 & 231 England 268 & 106-3
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The Independent Online

A defiant half century from captain Charlotte Edwards saw England bat out the final session at Worcester to retain the Ashes with a draw against Australia. The hosts had been set a victory target of 273 from 81 overs, but heavy rain at New Road meant that was reduced to 53 overs.

Opener Caroline Atkins went for a duck when she was bowled by Sarah Andrews, and England had made only five runs before rain intervened.

Play resumed just after 4pm, only for Claire Taylor (12) and Lydia Greenway (23) to depart in quick succession and leave England at 39 for 3. However, a resolute knock, which included 10 boundaries, from the Kent batsman Edwards (53 not out) helped guide the hosts through to the close, when England had edged on to 106. Australia had resumed this morning on 128 for 1 – 169 runs ahead – only to endure Karen Rolton (31) being run out by Laura Marsh during the opening over.

Katherine Brunt, who had claimed six wickets in the first innings, removed Alex Blackwell (68) with a well-taken caught and bowled, to leave the tourists at 150 for three.

Lisa Sthalekar (7) and Lauren Ebsary (21) followed, before Jodie Fields – who had hit a century in the first innings – was bowled by Marsh for nine as the Australian tail failed to put up much resistance. Holly Colvin was the pick of England's bowlers with 3 for 59.

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