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Women's Test ends in stalemate

By Chris Devine at Wormsley

England and Australia had to settle for two points apiece in the new multi-format Women’s Ashes after the solitary Test at Wormsley was drawn.

Australia adopted a positive approach with the bat on day four, skipper Jodie Fields striking 78 not out from 122 deliveries to hasten an afternoon declaration at 231 for five.

Yet, on a placid surface, a target of 249 from 45 overs was never likely to prove tempting for the hosts, who reached 93 for two before hands were shaken at 5:16pm.

The teams therefore remain on a level footing ahead of three one-day internationals and the same number of Twenty20s.

Having been in danger of following on earlier in the game, England can be happy with the grit and determination they showed.

Heather Knight’s magnificent first-innings 157 represented the highlight and ensured she walked away with the match award.

England got off to an excellent start in the field today, with the exception of an early drop from Charlotte Edwards at midwicket that reprieved Meg Lanning on 30.

Lanning added six to her total before falling in the next over, caught at mid-off via a leading edge off Anya Shrubsole.

Lydia Greenway then produced an outstanding piece of work to account for Sarah Elliott, England’s star fielder springing to her right in the covers, picking the ball up one-handed and effecting a direct hit at the non-striker’s end.

Jess Cameron collected three fours and a slog-swept six over cow corner off Shrubsole as Australia continued to attack.

Yet she soon clipped Jenny Gunn to Edwards at square-leg and England grabbed another wicket before lunch as Alex Blackwell fell lbw on the sweep to Laura Marsh.

By that stage, Fields was into her stride and the touring captain really opened her shoulders after lunch, passing 50 from 95 balls and then striking a succession of boundaries in the company of Erin Osborne.

Fields was put down at long-off on 74 by a diving Jenny Gunn, yet that mattered little as a declaration came at the end of the next over.

First-innings centurion Knight was run out - for the second time in the match - early in England’s reply following hesitation between the wickets and a direct hit from Ellyse Perry at square-leg.

Fellow opener Arran Brindle reached 20 before offering a return catch to Elliott, but there were no further breakthroughs for Australia as Sarah Taylor and Edwards eased to 38 and 23 respectively.

Match Scorecard

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Evening Session

England 2nd Innings  

5:16pm - MATCH DRAWN - Eng 93/2; Taylor 38; Edwards 23 - That's all folks! The players shake hands and the limited-overs section of the Women's Ashes will begin with England and Australia still all-square.

5:15pm - Taylor has moved easily to 38. Bizarrely, Australia have brought back Ferling for another burst.

5:04pm - Play has continued after drinks but there does not appear to be any chance of a positive result.

4:51pm - We are almost certainly in the last knockings of this game now, barring a spectacular turn of events.

4:44pm - Edwards takes Elliott for fours down the ground and through the covers. Twenty-one overs remain in the day and England are 63 for two.

4:40pm -  Australia skipper Jodie Fields is ringing the changes. Medium-pacer Meg Lanning gets her first bowl of the match and her slingy action prompts comparisons to Lasith Malinga from the BBC radio commentary team.

4:30pm - WICKET! Brindle c & b Elliott 20; Eng 48/2 - And Elliott strikes in her first over when accepting a return catch from Brindle. In comes England captain Charlotte Edwards.

4:28pm -  Brindle seems to be enjoying the short-pitched bowling from Ferling and collects another four just behind square on the off side. Sarah Elliott replaces fellow spinner Osborne from the Deer Park End.

4:21pm -  Arran Brindle square-cuts Holly Ferling for four before Sarah Taylor puts away two short deliveries from Erin Osborne to further boost the run-rate.

4:12pm -  We have had four overs since tea and only four runs have been scored. I would expect hands to be shaken early in the evening.

Afternoon Session

3:40pm - TEA - Eng 25/1; Brindle 10, Taylor 6 - It looks as though Australia's declaration came too late to tempt England. Tea arrives with a draw seemingly inevitable.

3:33pm -  A glorious straight-driven four takes Brindle into double figures, while Taylor is off the mark with a single off Schutt.

3:26pm -  Sarah Taylor is now alongside Brindle. It appears a draw is the best England can hope for with 235 needed from 38 overs.

3:18pm - WICKET! Knight run out 4; Eng 11/1 -  Brindle registers the first four of the innings with a sweetly struck drive through the covers off Perry. Yet there is a setback for England at the start of the next over as hesitation between the wickets sees Knight run out by Perry’s direct hit from square-leg.

3:13pm - Ellyse Perry shows great athleticism at fine-leg to prevent Heather Knight collecting four. England's first-innings centurion twice picks out fielders in the ring with crunching drives before Perry gives Brindle the hurry-up with a short ball.

3pm - It will take a hell of an effort from England to go at more than 5.5 an over on this slow surface. The hosts' second innings starts with two maidens, Arran Brindle surviving an lbw appeal from Megan Schutt in the latter.

Australia 2nd Innings

2:45pm - DECLARATION - Aus 231/5; Fields 78, Osborne 28 - That's it. Fields pulls the plug on Australia's second innings and England require 249 in 45 overs .

2:40pm - MISSED CHANCE - That message clearly advised the tourists to get on with things. It's shot-a-ball stuff now and the boundaries are flowing. Fields survives a life when Jenny Gunn fails to take a tough chance diving forward at long-off.

2:36pm - It looks as though a message has just been brought out for Australia's batters. Fields and Osborne have now put on more than 50, the former reverse-sweeping Marsh for two fours in an over. I think a declaration is looming.

2:27pm -  Now Fields beats cover off Marsh for her 10 th boundary. Very light rain is falling, which could hasten a declaration.

2:22pm - FIFTY! Fields (95b 9x4 0x6) -  This is a handy innings from Fields, who lofts Hazell down the ground for four. Another aerial stroke over long-on takes her past 50.

2:13pm - Fields picks up the pace once again with a driven four through extra-cover off Marsh, who is now operating in tandem with Danni Hazell. Australia are 195 ahead.

2:05pm - Ouch! Fields whacks the ball into Tammy Beaumont at silly point. Thankfully, the fielder avoids injury. That cannot be considered a chance as the ball flew off the bat and hit Beaumont before she had any chance to react. The run-rate has slowed since lunch.

1:55pm - Leg-side fours from Jodie Fields and Erin Osborne keep the score ticking over. Australia's skipper looks to be in excellent touch.

1:46pm - Anya Shrubsole and Laura Marsh start off after lunch for England. Will we see a declaration from Australia in this session?

Morning Session

1pm - LUNCH - Aus 153/3 and 170 ahead; Fields 28, Osborne 1 - The morning session ends with all still to play for. A combination of quicker scoring and four England wickets means the match is intriguingly poised.

12:52pm - WICKET! Blackwell lbw Marsh 22; Aus 150/5 - Australia's anchor falls lbw on the sweep to end a 92-ball stay at the crease. Erin Osborne joins her captain; will the tourists continue to attack?

12:49pm - The wicket of Cameron briefly slowed things down, but Australia have now added 85 runs in this session. They are 166 ahead on 149 for four as lunch draws near and Fields has been particularly positive.

12:35pm -  Fields puts away another loose ball from Brindle before Marsh, who has bowled tightly, raps Blackwell on the pad without reward. Hazell then takes over from Brindle and is slogged through the leg side by Blackwell for four.

12:23pm -  Arran Brindle takes over from Gunn but starts with a sloppy over that sees Fields pull for four on two occasions. Not content with bothering the press tent all week, wasps are now distracting the players on the field.

12:17pm -  Jodie Fields capitalises on width from Marsh with a cut for four. Danni Hazell then produces a fine stop at deep square-leg when Australia’s captain pulls powerfully. The lead is now 134. Danni Wyatt is on as a substitute fielder for Brunt.

12:07pm - Gunn sees a confident lbw appeal against Blackwell turned down during a probing maiden. Laura Marsh is operating with an attacking field from the Dibley End and we still have 84 overs to come.

11:55am - WICKET! Cameron c Edwards b Gunn 24; Aus 108/4 - The dangerous Cameron clips Gunn to square-leg and that is a very handy breakthrough for England. Drinks are taken and a positive result is looking more likely.

11:47am - THWACK! Cameron shows Blackwell how it's done with a stunning blow over cow corner for the game's first six. Australia's lead now stands at 118 and this game is moving forward quickly.

11:45am - Australia are certainly not shutting up shop. Blackwell aims a big mow across the line at Shrubsole but barely connects. Jenny Gunn has replaced Brunt from the Deer Park End.

11:36am - Cameron thumps Brunt through midwicket for her second four. The middle-order batter has the power to provide acceleration, as she showed when striking 10 boundaries in her first-innings 50. A rare loose delivery from Shrubsole in the next over beats Taylor, who is stood up to stumps, and flies down the leg side for four byes.

11:24am - England are piling on the pressure. Shrubsole induces a nick from Blackwell that does not quite carry through to wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor.

11:17am - Jess Cameron has been joined by Australia vice-captain Alex Blackwell and England will feel they have a real chance of victory if they can sneak a couple more out in the next half-hour. Australia's lead is 98.

11:09am - WICKET! Elliott run out 10; Aus 76/3 - What a stunning piece of fielding that is! Sarah Elliott sets off for a single to cover but is run out by a magnificent one-handed pick up and direct hit from Lydia Greenway!

11:02am - WICKET! Lanning c Brindle b Shrubsole 36; Aus 72/2 - Lanning is not so lucky on this occasion! She gets a leading edge looking to work Shrubsole into the leg side and is caught at mid-off.

10:59am - MISSED CHANCE - Meg Lanning gets an early let-off as England skipper Charlotte Edwards puts down a chance at midwicket off Brunt. The opener collects four through the off side later in the over.

10:56am - Katherine Brunt starts us off with a maiden and only one run comes from the next over, bowled by Anya Shrubsole. A quiet start from Australia then, but it's rather noisy next to the press tent as Billy the Trumpet blasts out a rendition of Jerusalem.

Pre-Play News

10:47am - Let's see what the final day has in store then. Here come Lanning, Elliott and England! 

10:40am -  Meg Lanning and first-innings centurion Sarah Elliott are the women in occupation for Australia. They have 29 and 10 to their respective names. The sun has sadly disappeared for the time being.

10:23am - After taking her score to 157 yesterday, Heather Knight revealed the secret of her success on Twitter...

10:10am - Australia currently lead by 81 on 64 for one. Will they seek quick runs and set England a tempting target? One thing is for sure, we still have plenty of cricket left in this game. There are 103 overs to be bowled today.

10am - Good morning, for the final time this week, from Wormsley. The ground is bathed in sunshine and play will begin 10 minutes early - at 10:50am - on day four of the Women's Ashes Test following yesterday's rain.

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