|Women’s Ashes Test, North Sydney Oval (day four of four):|
|England 280 & 206-2: Knight 79*, Elwiss 41*|
|Australia 448-9 dec: Perry 213*, McGrath 47, Healy 45, Ecclestone 3-107, Marsh 3-109|
|Match drawn; both sides take 2pts, Australia lead series 6-4|
Captain Heather Knight led a stubborn rearguard action as England forced a draw against Australia to keep the multi-format Women’s Ashes alive.
Australia would have retained the trophy if they had won this inaugural day-night Test, but needed to bowl England out on the final day in Sydney.
England began on 40-0, 128 runs behind, but after losing their openers, Knight (79 not out) added an unbroken 117 with Georgia Elwiss (41 not out) to keep Australia at bay before a draw was agreed with the tourists on 206-2.
Australia now lead the series 6-4 on points, meaning – barring intervention from the weather – England need to win all three Twenty20 internationals in order to regain the Ashes trophy.
Ellyse Perry’s sparkling double century on day three had left the hosts in the ascendancy, but neither side were helped by a lifeless North Sydney Oval pitch which gave no assistance to the bowlers, and it must be a concern that the T20 series begins on Friday at the same ground – with the same pitch reportedly set to be reused.
More to follow.