Edwards leads from the front
A record-breaking stand of 159 between Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards provided the backbone to the England innings as they ended on 222 for seven - 68 runs ahead of Australia on day two.
Captain Edwards led the way with a magnificent 94, but eventually fell when she attempted to cut Ellyse Perry and succeeded in edging to wicketkeeper Leonie Coleman.
Her innings contained 11 boundaries and lasted just over three and a half hours before she succumbed shortly after tea to the new ball.
She and Taylor combined to break the record for the highest third-wicket partnership for England against Australia - previously 137, shared by Rachel Heyhoe-Flint and Edna Barker in Melbourne in 1968/69.
Taylor carried on from where Edwards left off and contributed 79 to the cause, in a shade over five hours, but fell with the score on 216 for four, giving Coleman a catch off Lisa Sthalekar.
It was Coleman's third catch of the innings and of her Test career as she and Perry had earlier combined to remove opener Caroline Atkins for 15 - giving them both their first Test dismissals.
Beth Morgan followed for 10 five balls later, when she was bowled by Emma Sampson, who was also making her debut.
But it was Sthalekar who took the bowling honours on day two, removing Claire Taylor, Sarah Taylor and Nicky Shaw en route to figures of 3-39.
Wicketkeeper Taylor shared a 31-run stand with Claire Taylor and looked well set for a valuable contribution, but was bowled two overs later as she tried to punch the ball square of the wicket.
That signalled the start of a mini collapse for England as they lost two further wickets without putting a run on the board.
Shaw was the first to go, bowled by Sthalekar for a duck, and she was followed by Lydia Greenway, who was caught close to the wicket by Kate Blackwell off Shelley Nitschke.
However, all-rounders Rosalie Birch and Laura Marsh saw England to the close in the three remaining overs, as they now look to build on the platform created by Edwards and Taylor.