Ashes joy for Australia women

Australia will keep hold of the Ashes after drawing the Test against England at Taunton, where Ellyse Perry was star of the show.

Meg Lanning's Australia have retained the Ashes   -  Getty Images

Australia guaranteed it will retain the women's Ashes by drawing the four-day Test match against England at Taunton.

Meg Lanning's team was in control of the contest from start to finish, and had it not been for rain affecting the second day, the tourists may have been in a position to push for victory.

The Australians won all three ODIs earlier in July to seize control of the multi-format series, taking two points for each success to earn a 6-0 lead. Three T20s are still to come, with two points again up for grabs each time.

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However, Australia's four-year reign as Ashes holders meant England needed to triumph at Taunton in the only Test match, with four points up for grabs, to stand any chance of making up for the ODI setbacks and taking back the trophy.

Australia instead dominated and piled up 420-8 in its first innings before limiting England to 275-9. The home side had to bowl out Australia cheaply on the final day to give itself any hope, but that was never a realistic prospect.

Australia reached 230-7 for a lead of 375, with first-innings centurion Ellyse Perry making 76 not out, before an early-evening handshake brought the match to its end.

England can level the series should it win each T20 contest, but Australia has achieved the priority goal of its trip by ensuring it will keep the trophy.

Lanning said: "It's certainly a good position to be in. We came over here with that as the main focus for our group.

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"We had a hard four days' battle against England. Unfortunately we couldn't get a [winning] result here but I thought it was a great Test."

She added: "I think there's been a lot of high-pressure moments within this series and we've been able to come out the other side on top of those. It's been a lot closer than the scoreboard suggests and we know the T20s are going to be a close-run thing."

England captain Heather Knight said at the post-match presentation: "We're obviously disappointed. They outplayed us obviously so congratulations to them. Now we've got to treat the T20 series as a series in itself. We've got three games to show what we can do.

"We haven't given the best account of ourselves. We haven't played up to the standards we know we can play to."