Ashes joy for England

Charlotte Edwards & Claire Taylor

Charlotte Edwards and Claire Taylor enjoy the moment of triumph © Getty Images

England women retained the Ashes after wrapping up a six-wicket win over Australia in the solitary Test in Bowral.

Needing only to draw the game to ensure the Ashes returned to England, the tourists swept to a memorable triumph in the final session of the four-day encounter at the Bradman Oval.

A victory target of 142 barely inconvenienced England, Claire Taylor following up her first-innings 79 with an unbeaten 64 to ease their nerves after the early loss of Caroline Atkins.

Australia, who resumed their second innings on 195 for four, declared on 231 for nine shortly before lunch in a bid to force victory.

Lisa Sthalekar - 95 not out overnight - fell two short of a century as Beth Morgan claimed her first wicket of the match.

Holly Colvin removed Kate Blackwell before Isa Guha, who took the first three Australia wickets on Sunday, trapped Leonie Coleman in front. She finished with 4-60, match figures of 9-100 and the match award.

Ellyse Perry and Kirsten Pike fell to Nicky Shaw and Colvin (3-42) respectively to prompt Australia’s declaration, but when Perry had Atkins leg before Australian thoughts began to drift towards an unlikely victory.

Taylor and Morgan effectively ended such hopes courtesy of a second-wicket stand worth 49, and Lydia Greenway responded to Morgan’s demise by hitting 26 off just 31 balls, dominating a 31-run partnership for the third wicket.

Though Greenway was adjudged lbw to Shelley Nitschke and Sarah Taylor fell to Emma Sampson, Claire Taylor registered one of the most important half-centuries of her distinguished career before capping a fine performance by hitting the winning runs.


The England players celebrate retaining the Ashes