England's women may be in for a tense final day in their Ashes Test at New Road, Worcester, todayafter conceding a 41-run first-innings lead to Australia.
The hosts resumed on 116 for 5 in reply to 309 yesterday and were indebted to the determination of Beth Morgan (58), who batted for 262 balls.
Australia captain Jodie Fields used eight bowling options, and every England batsman apart from the two openers made a double-figure score on the way to 268 all out – a total which featured a 59-run stand for the last wicket between Holly Colvin and Laura Marsh, who hit a number of boundaries in her 38.
Earlier, Katherine Brunt made 27 and it was her pull for four off Ellyse Perry that took England past the follow-on target, a stroke which brought a relieved cheer from the England dressing room.
Brunt was bowled just after lunch by Lauren Ebsary and Morgan followed, her marathon innings ended by Lisa Sthalekar's off-spin.
England were 100 behind Australia's first innings total at that point but Colvin and Marsh frustrated the tourists' bowlers, with the latter taking the lead by hitting five fours before she was bowled by Sarah Andrews, the home side now 41 runs behind
Australia still had time, though, to respond with 128 for one by stumps, and an unbeaten 59 from opener Alex Blackwell means they will begin again today already 169 in front. She is joined by Karen Rolton, 31 not out, who in the final over of the day became the first Australian woman to hit 1,000 Test runs.Reuse content