Australia drew their one-off Test with England to retain the Ashes on Sunday. The four-day Test in Taunton ended in a draw after most of the second day was rained out despite a bold declaration from the hosts.
Ellyse Perry was the Player of the Match, adding an unbeaten 76 to her century (116) in the first innings. The visitors finished the match with a lead of 335 runs.
England, who were on the backfoot for the majority of the match, declared on 275/9 before lunch while still trailing by 145 as Heather Knight tried to force a result. It was a must-win match for the hosts in the multi-format Ashes series.
They had started the day on 199/6 after Sophie Molineux’s three-wicket burst had knocked the wind out of the top-order. She ended with figures of 4/95 which shut any hope England had of a fightback.
After the declaration, England got a bit of an edge in the Australian batting as Laura Marsh struck twice in an over to reduce the visitors to 15/2. Alyssa Healy (13) was bowled while makeshift opener Rachael Haynes (1) was trapped LBW. But captain Meg Lanning and Perry dug in with a 48-run partnership.
When Lanning was dismissed by a stunning catch from Tammy Beaumont, Beth Mooney (25) and Jess Jonassen (37) kept adding the runs with Perry.
With no declaration in sight as Australia continued batting after the tea break, with a lead of 279 and a minimum of 41 overs left, the result was enough to give Australia the series.
The draw meant Australia, who had won the ODI series 3-0, had eight points to England’s two (the four Test points were split) to retain the trophy. There are six points still in the fray in the upcoming three T20Is starting on July 26.