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England Women strike back

England levelled the Women’s Ashes courtesy of an impressive over Australia in the second NatWest one-day international at the County Ground.

Charlotte Edwards led the way with 53 after winning the toss, but there were healthy contributions from every member of the top six as England posted 256 for six.

Australia lost both openers for ducks in reply and were ultimately dismissed for 205 in the 49th over despite a defiant 81 from number three Jess Cameron.

Seamer Anya Shrubsole said: “It was a really good all-round performance; the batters batted brilliantly and put the runs on the board and we knew we had to come out here and do a job with the ball and we did that.

“The series is poised again. We’ll review this game, look at what we’ve done well and what we can improve on when we return for the final ODI here on Sunday.”

After drawing the solitary Test at Wormsley and losing the 50-over opener three days ago, England knew they could ill afford to lose today.

Edwards duly stepped up, sharing in respective stands of 45 and 70 with Heather Knight and Sarah Taylor, who contributed 31 and 32.

Further momentum was provided by Lydia Greenway and Arran Brindle, the middle-order pair reaching 46 and 42 before falling to Sarah Coyte.

On her Ashes debut, 21-year-old Natalie Sciver added 26 not out from 20 deliveries with the aid of three fours.

Katherine Brunt and Shrubsole duly struck in their second overs to send back Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning, leaving Australia with a mountain to climb.

Cameron responded impressively, but lacked support as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.

By the time Holly Colvin took a return catch to account for Erin Osborne and become the fifth wicket-taker of the innings, Australia were 120 for six.

Brunt then returned to bowl Cameron in the 38th over and the tourists were subsequently bowled out with 10 deliveries unused, having lost three batters to run-outs.

Both teams therefore have four points ahead of Sunday’s third ODI and a trio of Twenty20 internationals.