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Page last updated at 18:12 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 19:12 UK

England women defend Ashes crown

Women's Test Match, Worcester (day four, stumps):
England 268, 106-3 drew with Australia 309 & 231
Match scorecard

Charlotte Edwards on the attack against Australia
Edwards has overseen a triple crown of accomplishments this year

England's women clung onto the Ashes after drawing the one-off Ashes Test against Australia, retaining the crown for a second successive time.

Set an improbable target of 273 to win, England stuttered at 39-3 as heavy rain thwarted Australia's quest for wickets, reducing the innings to 53 overs.

But Charlotte Edwards (53) and Beth Morgan (9) guided England to 106-3 at stumps without further alarm.

Australia were dismissed for 231, with opener Alex Blackwell finishing on 68.

Left-arm spinner Holly Colvin was England's most effective bowler, finishing with figures of 3-59.

The result caps off a sensational year for captain Edwards' side, who won the 50-over World Cup in March before adding the World Twenty20 title last month.

"It has been an amazing three or four months, all the hard work has paid off," Edwards told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The challenge for us now is to get better, we want to keep winning trophies."

Edwards once again led from the front as she steered her side away from danger alongside Morgan, who occupied the crease for over eight hours during the Test.

Resuming the day on 128-1 with a 169-run lead, Australia pressed for swift runs to pile the pressure on England in the final two sessions of the day.


Blackwell's 135-ball innings came to an end when she was caught and bowled by Katherine Brunt, the fast bowler's seventh wicket of the match.

Ex-skipper Karen Rolton added 31 with useful contributions from Lauren Ebsary (21) and Leah Poulton (23) as Australia gave their bowlers the ideal platform to set their bowlers attacking fields.

However, Morgan revealed England intended to play positively and attempt to chase down their target.

"We were really backing ourselves, it would have been a good chase," she said. "It's just a shame the rain came as it took away the opportunity for a win."

Australia were rewarded for their early endeavour when Sarah Andrews had opener Caroline Atkins trapped lbw at 1-1.

But the players were forced off the field when rain intervened as Australia lost valuable overs to the delay.

Play resumed at 1600 BST when Claire Taylor's 53-ball vigil ended on 12 when she was bowled by Lisa Sthalekar.

Opener Lydia Greenway (23) followed soon after, caught and bowled by teenage seamer Ellyse Perry to leave England precariously placed at 39-3.

But Australia's impetus was dampened as Edwards, ably assisted by the obdurate Morgan, ensured England saw out the remaining overs with no further losses.

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see also
England's women recover in Ashes
12 Jul 09 |  Women's cricket
England fight back after collapse
11 Jul 09 |  Women's cricket
Fields ton rescues Aussie women
10 Jul 09 |  Women's cricket
Women's Ashes Test photos
11 Jul 09 |  Women's cricket
Taylor expects Aussie backlash
09 Jul 09 |  Women's cricket
Rain frustrates England's women
07 Jul 09 |  Women's cricket
England women unchanged for Ashes
22 Jun 09 |  Women's cricket
England women win World Twenty20
21 Jun 09 |  Women's cricket
England women v Australia 2009
15 Jul 09 |  Women's cricket

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