England eves beat Australia to retain Ashes

Published: Monday, February 18, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Adelaide: England women retained the Ashes after wrapping up a six-wicket win over Australia in the solitary Test at the Bradman Oval in Bowral on Monday.

Needing only to draw the game to ensure the Ashes returned to England, the tourists swept to a memorable triumph in the final session of the four-day encounter at the Bradman Oval.

A victory target of 142 barely inconvenienced England, Claire Taylor following up her first-innings 79 with an unbeaten 64 to ease their nerves after the early loss of Caroline Atkins.

Australia, who resumed their second innings on 195 for four, declared on 231 for nine shortly before lunch in a bid to force victory.

Lisa Sthalekar - 95 not out overnight - fell two short of a century as Beth Morgan claimed her first wicket of the match.

Holly Colvin removed Kate Blackwell before Isa Guha, who took the first three Australia wickets on Sunday, trapped Leonie Coleman in front. She finished with 4-60, match figures of 9-100 and the match award.

Ellyse Perry and Kirsten Pike fell to Nicky Shaw and Colvin (3-42) respectively to prompt Australia"s declaration, but when Perry had Atkins leg before Australian thoughts began to drift towards an unlikely victory.

Taylor and Morgan effectively ended such hopes courtesy of a second-wicket stand worth 49, and Lydia Greenway responded to Morgan"s demise by hitting 26 off just 31 balls, dominating a 31-run partnership for the third wicket.

Though Greenway was adjudged lbw to Shelley Nitschke and Sarah Taylor fell to Emma Sampson, Claire Taylor registered one of the most important half-centuries of her distinguished career before capping a fine performance by hitting the winning runs.

Brief Scores:

Australia eves 154 and 231 (Lisa Sthalekar 98, Nitschke 36, Blackwell 33; Isa Guha 4 for 50, Holly Colvin 3 for 42) lost to England 244 and 144/4 (Sarah Taylor 64, Lydia Greenway 26; Emma Sampson 1 for 28, Ellyse Perry 1 for 17, Sthalekar 1 for 49)


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