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Result: Australia retain Women's Ashes as only Test ends in draw

Result: Australia retain Women's Ashes as only Test ends in draw
© Reuters
In a rain-affected match, the tourists successfully batted out a draw at Taunton.

Australia have retained the Women's Ashes after the only Test match of the series ended in a draw at Taunton.

The visitors chose to bat out the afternoon after England avoided the follow-on and declared on 275 for nine but they were unable to take the necessary wickets needed to bat again.

Elysse Perry was the pick of the Australian innings, reaching 76 not out as captain Meg Lanning decided not to set England a fourth-innings target.

England sit 8-2 in the series across multiple formats and could force a draw with victory in all three Twenty20 matches but Australia's previous win ensures they retain the title.

Australia went into the Test match leading 6-0 from the One-Day Internationals and only needing to avoid defeat to ensure they retained the Ashes.

England started the day on 199 for six chasing Australia's 420 for eight declared, but their battle was dealt a blow early on when Anya Shrubsole was stumped for 11 after being beaten by Sophie Molineux who claimed her fourth wicket of the match.

With 19 needed to avoid the follow-on, Nat Sciver played on off the bowling of Jess Jonassen for 88 before Laura Marsh and Sophie Ecclestone combined in a ninth-wicket partnership which saw England over the line.

After passing the follow-on, England captain Heather Knight immediately decided to declare with her side trailing the Australians by 145 runs.

Australia survived until lunch before Marsh took two quick wickets in five balls including Alyssa Healy as England relied on spin to try to take the wickets required to allow them to bat again.

Captain Meg Lanning, who hit a half-century in the first innings,  was dismissed for 21 but the Australians continued to use up deliveries and put pressure on the bowlers.

With the game increasingly slipping away, Tammy Beaumont took a great catch to dismiss Beth Mooney at short leg off the bowling of Ecclestone, reaching low and to her right to dismiss the Australian batsman.

Bringing herself on to bowl after tea, Heather Knight took two wickets, Jonassen and Ashleigh Gardner but could not find the breakthrough to dismiss the in-form Perry before both captains shook on a draw.

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