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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Aussie women win in close finale
Women' s one-day international, Taunton
Australia 260-6 beat England 256 by four runs

Australia win series 3-2

Lisa Keightley
Lisa Keightley scored 58 off just 66 balls for the Aussies

Australia's women won a thrilling match at Taunton by four runs to claim the one-day series against England and gain some consolation for losing the Ashes.

Batting first, Australia totalled 260-6 but looked likely to be defeated for large parts of England's run chase.

Their hero was fast bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick, who took 4-49, striking at vital times and also running out England's 10th batter Katherine Brunt.

England had lost the first two matches before winning games three and four.

The toss was won by England, who chose to field first, but Belinda Clark and Lisa Keightley put on 99 for the first wicket.

Medium-pacer Beth Morgan made the first in-road when having skipper Clark caught behind for 36.

Keightley went on to make 58 off just 66 balls before becoming one of three victims for the slow bowler Charlotte Edwards.

It was a great game of cricket, one of the most exciting in women's cricket for a long time
Clare Connor
England captain

But it was Australia who looked to be in the box seat at the innings break after Karen Rolton and Lisa Sthalekar had added two half-centuries of their own.

England did not field as well as they had for much of the summer, though keeper Jane Smit, with two catches and two stumpings, was outstanding.

In their run chase, England started well under Edwards and Laura Newton, who put on 94 for the first wicket.

It took the pace of Fitzpatrick to bring about the first wicket, with Edwards (57) getting a leading edge and skying a catch into the covers.

Charlotte Edwards had a fine match, but Australia won
Charlotte Edwards had a fine match, but Australia won

The off-spin of Sthalekar then brought about the next two wickets as Newton (61) and Claire Taylor (22) were sent on their way, but the run rate was picking up.

The required rate was never allowed to get much above six runs an over and that meant Arran Brindle and Gunn could spend much of their 72-run partnership playing tip and run as Australia's fielders began to feel the pressure.

England seemed to have the game well in control when just 22 were needed from the last 24 balls with five wickets in hand.

But Brindle played across the line to Fitzpatrick to fall for 50, Lydia Greenway and Brunt were both run out and Jane Smith was bowled by Rolton.

When number 11 Isa Guha stepped to the wicket, six runs were needed off the last over, bowled by Rolton.

Guha scampered a single off the first ball, but captain Clare Connor, attempting to chip over mid-on, provided Kirsten Pike with a chance and the fielder took a fine running catch.

Connor said afterwards: "It was a great game of cricket, one of the most exciting in women's cricket for a long time.

"We maybe should have looked for singles instead of going for the big shot.

"But winning the Ashes has been an amazing experience and I'm really proud of my girls."




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