By Glen Robertson
Charlotte Edwards has called for England to be "ruthless" on the fourth and final day of the Women's Ashes Test in Perth.
The tourists require five wickets to secure the six points on offer from the opening contest of the series after Kate Cross took three scalps to reduce Australia to 57 for five at the WACA as the hosts chase 185.
Having come into the day on the back foot, holding a lead of just 12 with three wickets down, Edwards - who hit a superb half-century - was thrilled with the position her side find themselves in, but warned that the job has not been done yet.
"I think if you had told me this morning that this would be the outcome by the end of the day I think I would have bitten your hand off," she told ecb.co.uk.
"We've got ourselves in a really good position for tomorrow but it's so important now that we are really ruthless. We weren't as ruthless as we should have been in the first innings."
Edwards had come to the crease after Natalie Sciver and Arran Brindle had steadied the ship, but England were still in desperate need of runs with a lead of just 67 and five wickets down.
Yet the skipper, batting in the unusual position of seven having being unable to bat until England were five down due to a knee injury that troubled her on day two, combined with Jenny Gunn to add 85 runs for the sixth wicket, 56 of which were scored by Edwards.
The 34-year-old was disappointed that she was not able to go on and post a bigger score but was happy to have helped her side back into the contest.
She said: "It was probably good me walking out there five wickets down. Although I haven't had much experience at number seven, me and Jen have batted well together in the past. We knew we had to dig in and we played brilliantly between us.
"Obviously we'd have liked to have gone on but that wasn't the case. You never feel in on that wicket - so we were pretty pleased with the total in the end.
"I was really disappointed (to be dismissed). I've probably missed out on quite a big score but at the end of the play I think I'd probably take where we've got to at the moment."
England's strong position of the end of the day was gained after a spectacular spell from Cross, who capitalised on some disciplined bowling from her colleagues following the earlier dismissal of Elyse Villani to take three quick wickets, including removing Meg Lanning and Jess Cameron in successive balls.
It saw Australia reduced from 40 for one to 40 for four, before Sarah Taylor's brilliant stumping of Jodie Fields left the hosts five down at the end of the day.
When asked about whether she had expected the flurry of wickets, Edwards replied: "No. Not when I was stood at mid-on with them 30 for no wicket but that's the great thing about Test cricket, how quickly the game can change.
"When you've got momentum you just have to go with it and we certainly had that. Kate Cross bowled fantastically well, backed up by the other bowlers."
There is still a job to do in the morning, especially with Australia having recovered from 37 for five to 207 all out in the first innings. To prevent a repeat, Edwards does not want her side to allow Australia pair Ellyse Perry and Sarah Elliott to get settled on day four.
She said: "We've got to come hard at them. The batters have to come in and start again.
"Ellyse Perry has been playing brilliantly and bowled fantastically well today and Sarah Elliott has obviously been a great Test player for them so there are two big wickets for us and in no way have we won this game yet.
"We believe if we come and hit our lengths on a pitch that has given us enough assistance, we can do this and it will be a fantastic result."
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