Edwards filled with pride

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards lifts the Ashes prize after England's triumph © Getty Images

England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards heaped praise on her players after they delivered on their promise to retain the Ashes in style.

With the series being decided by a solitary Test, England needed only draw the match in Bowral to ensure the Ashes they won in 2005 would stay in their possession.

But they sealed a six-wicket victory on the final evening of the four-day encounter at the Bradman Oval, chasing down a target of 142 thanks to Claire Taylor’s unbeaten 64.

“I’m delighted, almost lost for words,” said Edwards. “To beat Australia in Australia is a fantastic feeling.

“We had always said we would come out here and aim to win this match in order to retain the Ashes and that’s what we did today.

Sarah Taylor & Claire Taylor

Claire Taylor takes the plaudits for her crucial unbeaten 64

“I’m so proud of all my players. We have played some fantastic cricket over these past four days to continually have the upper hand over Australia and to pull through and secure victory today was a great effort."

Isa Guha, who collected the match award after claiming 4-60 in the second innings and 9-100 in the match, also paid tribute to England’s positive approach.

She said: “It was brilliant to be playing at the Bradman Oval and it was an extra special win for us because we knew that people were saying we had only come out for the draw as that would have been enough to retain the Ashes.

“But we always knew that we were playing for a win and it’s great to be part of such a special occasion.

“We fought hard throughout the four days and always came back strong if it looked like Australia were settling.

Nicky Shaw & Isa Guha

Nicky Shaw and Isa Guha enjoy England's thrilling victory

“I’m pleased that I was able to step up to the mark, but at the end of the day over the Test match the whole team has contributed to such an emphatic win. We’ll celebrate tonight.”

Australia captain Karen Rolton was left to rue her side’s first-innings failure, when they were bowled out for 154 on the opening day.

“We had a disappointing first day but there were several stages with both the bat and ball where we were able to get ourselves back into the match,” she said.

“We really gave it our all throughout the match. There was a lot of positive cricket played.”

A jubilant Edwards added: “We’ll celebrate tonight, but then turn our attentions to New Zealand for the one-day series over there, which starts on Sunday.”

England fly out on Wednesday, meeting New Zealand A in a tour match on Friday before the five-game one-day international series gets under way.