Canberra, Jan 30 (Cricket News) In a fantastic advertisement for women's Test cricket, England hung on for a dramatic draw as their Ashes contest against Australia came to a thrilling finish on the last session of the fourth and final day here.
The visiting England finished at 245 for nine after a sporting declaration from Australia captain Meg Lanning set the tourists a target of 257 runs from 48 overs at the Manuka Oval.
England looked on course to pull off the biggest fourth-innings chase in the history of women's Test cricket before escaping with a tense draw after an inexplicable batting collapse.
Captained by the inspirational Heather Knight, England needed 43 runs in the last 48 balls with seven wickets in hands, but ended up drawing the match with just a wicket left.
The Australian bowlers made a terrific comeback to put their team on the verge of victory after struggling against the English top-order.
However, England slipped from 218 for three to 244 for nine to end all hopes of scripting a memorable come-from-behind win after playing catch-up for three days.
Hosts Australia entered the final day at 12 for two after a major part of the third day was washed out due to rain.
Beth Mooney and Ellyse Perry propped up Australia with a 91-run partnership and guided the team past the 100-run mark.
Sophie Ecclestone produced the breakthrough to end the stand while Charlotte Dean had Mooney trapped in front of the wicket.
After that Tahlia McGrath and Ashleigh Gardner scored quickly during a 49-run stand for the sixth wicket as Australia managed to stretch their lead over 200. After the dismissal of McGrath and Gardner, Jess Jonassen smashed 14 off 6 as Lanning declared with the scorecard reading 216 for seven.
England started the chase on a positive note and looked on course for a magnificent victory until the Australian bowlers found their bearings.
First-innings centurion Heather Knight followed up her monumental 168 with a 54-ball 48, while Nat Sciver made a 62-ball 58.
Sophia Dunkley smashed 45 off just 32 balls but after her dismissal, none of the English players could get going with the bat.
News Source : PTI