Morgan and Gunn lead fightback

Beth Morgan and Jenny Gunn led a valiant rearguard action as England fought to avoid following on in the Women's Ashes Test at Worcester.

Morgan and Gunn joined forces with England in dire trouble at 59 for five after the tourists had been dismissed for 309 just after lunch.

Adopting an extremely watchful approach against Australia's unerringly accurate attack, the duo put on 57 runs in 26 overs to haul England towards respectability before the menacing dark clouds persuaded the umpires to retreat for the evening.

Katherine Brunt

England's Katherine Brunt celebrates another Australia wicket en route to a six-wicket haul at Worcester's New Road

Earlier in the day Katherine Brunt recorded 6-69 from 26 overs - her best figures in Test cricket - as England finally bowled Australia out.

The 24-year-old seamer added to the five wickets she took on Friday by trapping Lauren Ebsary leg before to eclipse the five-wicket haul she took on the same ground when England won the Ashes in 2005.

Brunt's early breakthrough, which came after an 80 minute delay due to heavy drizzle, left the tourists on 280 for eight but Ellyse Perry and Rene Farrell gradually pushed the total towards 300.

More rain forced the players off for an early lunch but England did not have long to wait once the afternoon session began, Nicky Shaw taking the two remaining wickets to fall to finish with 3-67.

After nipping one back that crashed into Farrell's stumps, Shaw then teased Sarah Andrews into a thin tickle which Sarah Taylor did wonderfully well to catch standing up.

In reply, England's top order was blown away during a disastrous afternoon session.

Caroline Atkins was the first to go, trapped leg before in the third over by Farrell with just two runs on the board.

She was soon followed back to the pavilion by fellow opener Lydia Greenway who, having survived a loud lbw appeal by Farrell the ball before, chipped a simple catch to Sarah Andrews at mid-on.

With England 11 for two, the normally reliable pair of Claire Taylor and captain Charlotte Edwards tried to repair the damage but both departed within four balls.

Taylor, having been caught at point off a no-ball in Ebsary's first over, was not so fortunate four balls later, her slashed drive being brilliantly plucked out of the Worcester sky by Leah Poulton at gully.

It got worse for the holders moments later when Edwards was bowled by Perry, the ball keeping low and cannoning into the skipper's off stump.

Morgan and Sarah Taylor came together at 28 for four and set about repairing the damage with the latter, fresh from being player of the recent NatWest Series, continuing her rich vein of form by tucking into Perry with relish.

Beth Morgan

A rare scoring moment as Beth Morgan works the ball into the leg side during her unbeaten 23 from 123 balls

Consecutive boundaries briefly deflated the chirpy Australians and a square cut in the 24th over that raced to the boundary was as good as anything seen all match.

She followed that up in the next over with a delightful drive on the up but her innings came to an untimely end.

Having rattled along to 21, Taylor played back to Shelley Nitschke's first ball and was adjudged lbw but the batsman's glare towards the umpire suggested the ball was drifting down the legside.

Gunn kept Morgan company and the pair crawled towards the follow-on total.

Watchful against the miserly Farrell and Lisa Sthalekar, Gunn was given the rare opportunity to open her broad shoulders when Ebsary was reintroduced.

The Worcester Cathedral bells began to sound but Gunn did not notice, belting a full-toss through midwicket to become England's top scorer before a crisp clip off her pads took England past the 100-mark.