Fifth women's one-day international, Sydney: Australia 211-9 (50 overs) beat England 170 all out (46.3 overs) by 41 runs
England and Australia shared the trophy after a drawn series
Debutant Stephanie Davies took 4-47 but England's collapsed to lose the final women's one-day match to Australia by 41 runs and draw the series 2-2.
Bolstered by an opening stand of 90 between Alex Blackwell (61) and Shelley Nitschke (50), Australia reached 211-9.
Seamer Davies and Nicki Shaw dominated the middle of the innings, with Lisa Sthalekar (28) in Davies' haul.
England started badly. Despite captain Charlotte Edwards' 44 and 42 from Lydia Greenway they were bowled out for 170.
It's fantastic to draw a series against Australia in Australia and I'm really proud of all the girls' efforts
Although they failed to hold onto their series lead, England are in good heart after running the World Cup winners close.
And the tourists' form looks strong for the lone Test match, which begins in Bowral on Friday with England needing only to draw to retain the Ashes.
"We're bitterly disappointed that we didn't manage to clinch the series," said Edwards.
"We didn't bowl or field well enough as a unit and to get 211 on a worn wicket was always going to be a hard ask.
"Having said that it's fantastic to draw a series against Australia in Australia and I'm really proud of all the girls' efforts over the last week."
Davies added:"It was really exciting to make my debut and play my first international for England at the SCG.
"I started nervously, but then got back into it towards the end to get four wickets.
"We're obviously disappointed not to win the series - we had been playing good enough cricket to win it, but we're confident going through to the Ashes on Friday."
After the match wicket-keeper Jane Smit - the last playing member from the team which won the 1993 World Cup - announced her retirement from international cricket.