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Page last updated at 07:35 GMT, Sunday, 23 January 2011

England gain upper hand in women's Ashes Test

Ashes Test, day two, Sydney (close):
England 207 & 9-0 v Australia 159-9 dec

England's Danielle Hazell celebrates the wicket of Alyssa Healy
England's Danielle Hazell celebrates the wicket of Alyssa Healy

England produced an excellent bowling display to leave them well-placed to retain the women's Ashes in Sydney.

After being bowled out for 207 at the start of day two, Charlotte Edwards remaining unbeaten on 114, they hit back to reduce Australia to 68-6.

Alyssa Healy (37) and Jess Cameron (30) led a recovery but Isa Guha took 3-27 before Australia declared 48 runs in arrears on 159-9.

England avoided any late setbacks, reaching 9-0 at the close of play.

"I'm really pleased with how we performed today," Guha said afterwards.

"It's been a real team effort, with wickets shared amongst the bowlers. I think that shows the strength and variety in our attack."

England lasted 14 overs during the morning session for the addition of 26 runs before Sarah Elliott bowled Lauren Griffiths to bring the innings to a close.

Australia, however, were soon in trouble in reply as Katharine Brunt and Guha removed Shelley Nitschke and Elliott, both caught by wicketkeeper Griffiths.

All-rounder Jenny Gunn claimed the key wickets of Alex Blackwell and Lisa Sthalekar shortly after lunch before Laura Marsh removed Rachael Haynes for 21 with the help of Danielle Hazell's excellent catch at short mid-wicket.

Hazell then got in on the act with the ball, having Leah Poulton (21) taken at slip by Heather Knight but Cameron and Healy held England up for 11 overs with a stand of 39, but Knight took her second catch to dismiss the former off Guha, who followed up by having Sarah Coyte leg-before with her next delivery.

Healy's 74-ball innings came to an end when she hoisted Hazell to mid-on where Lydia Greenway made no mistake with the catch and seven overs later, Blackwell sprang a surprise by declaring.

Explaining the decision, Healy said: "We declared 50 runs behind because we wanted to have a crack at them tonight and although we didn't get a breakthrough, we're really confident we can take 10 more wickets and chase down the target."

She added: "Things didn't go right for us today but we're all really positive and we're looking to play a nice, aggressive style of cricket."

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see also
Women's Ashes photos
24 Jan 11 |  Women's cricket
Edwards ton helps England recover
22 Jan 11 |  Women's cricket
England women out to retain Ashes
21 Jan 11 |  Women's cricket
Consolation win for Aussie women
18 Jan 11 |  Women's cricket
England women in Australia 2011
25 Jan 11 |  Women's cricket

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