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Edwards scores century but England suffer Ashes heartbreak

Tuesday 25th January 2011

Despite a marvellous maiden Ashes century by Kent“s Charlotte Edwards (pictured), England“s Women fell to a seven-wicket defeat against Australia in the solitary Test-match in Sydney.

Lydia Greenway also played but their efforts were ultimately in vain as the Aussies impressively chased down 198 to claim the series win.

The tourists batted first and scored 207, built largely around a superb unbeaten knock of 114 from skipper Edwards. Her 310-ball vigil contained seven boundaries as she kept her side in this low-scoring game. The second-highest scorer was Jenny Gunn with 33 as the pair put on 65 for the fourth-wicket – the highest stand of the innings. Greenway fell to Rene Farrell for four as Ellyse Perry took 4-56 for the hosts.

Despite Australia seemingly being in control, England bounced back to claim a healthy first-innings lead as Alex Blackwell“s side declared on 159 for nine handing England a lead of 48. Isa Guha was the main protagonist. Her 3-27 helped reduced the home side to 68 for six. Some lower-order hitting from Alyssa Healy (37) and Jess Cameron (30) boosted Australia but England still grasped the advantage.

Things then proceeded to fall apart for them as England were dismissed for 149 in their second-innings as Farrell ripped through them, taking 5-23. Greenway was unfortunately run-out for 11, Edwards made 28 before Farrell trapped her in-front and Gunn again impressed with the bat top-scoring with 30. It meant Australia were left to chase a tricky – in the context of the low-scoring encounter – 198, and it was something they succeeded in doing with consummate ease on the final day.

England toiled hard and it took the home side 91.2 overs to reach their target but they were patient and thanks to a third-wicket stand of 125 between Sarah Elliott (81*) and Blackwell (74), Australia were able to regain the Ashes.

After the game, Edwards gave these comments: “Obviously I“m absolutely gutted to hand over the Ashes. Our bowlers did a fantastic job but unfortunately we didn“t put enough runs on the board. We would have liked to make it a bigger chase.

“I“m proud of how the team have backed each other and really fought to the end. We“ve had a relatively inexperienced side out here and for many of them this was their first Test match.

“We have had a few setbacks early on this tour but the team have really come together and players have stood up to the mark and we showed this in the Twenty20 series.”