Fields shines but Test is drawn
Australia 331 for 6 dec (Elliott 104) and 231 for 5 dec (Fields 78*) drew with England 314 (Knight 157, Osborne 4-67) and 93 for 2
Having been in danger of following-on two days ago, England were content to settle for two points for a draw in the Ashes Test after declining to make an attempt at a target of 249 in 45 overs at Wormsley.
Australia declared their second innings on 231 for 5, with Jodie Fields unbeaten on 78, but there was no dip at the chase as England finished on 93 for 2 when the players shook hands. There was the incentive of six points for victory in this Test - with the Ashes decided across all three formats for the first time - but both teams leave all-square after four days although Australia have the advantage of currently holding the Ashes.
"I think today we came here with a goal of winning the match and we knew we had to make a positive declaration," Fields said. "Probably the early wickets set us back a little bit and we had to stabilise again. I think we gave it a good crack. We got the 250 and then put them in, we tried our best."
There was just a suggestion that England might be able to leave themselves a more favourable chase when they claimed quick wickets during the morning session. Having resumed on 64 for 1, Australia slipped to 108 for 4 - a lead of 125 - before Fields steadied the innings.
Charlotte Edwards, the England captain, said: "We came in believing we could still win the game and I think that showed in our first session. We believed we could get early wickets and put some pressure on them but it wasn't to be and I think a draw is a fair result. Both teams really wanted those six points and there was huge incentive to get them.
"Our bowlers have been outstanding throughout this Test match and restricted Australia well. I've been really impressed with our opening attack and Heather Knight played a brilliant first innings to get us back in the game."
Meg Lanning and first-innings century-maker Sarah Elliott fell in consecutive overs before, 32 runs later, Jenny Gunn claimed her second wicket to end a lively innings by Jess Cameron.
However, Fields and Alex Blackwell calmed Australia with a stand of 42 before Fields added an unbroken 81 with Erin Osborne to set up the declaration. Fields hit 13 boundaries in her innings, then left England with a chase that would have been achievable in one-day cricket but was well clear of the previous scoring rates of this match.
Heather Knight, who rescued England with a mammoth 157 in the first innings, was run out for the second time in the match and Arran Brindle was caught and bowled by Elliott to leave England 48 for 2. Further alarms were avoided, though, as Sarah Taylor and Edwards played out the remainder of the day.
The teams will now prepare for a three-match one-day series which begins at Lord's on August 20, where there are two points on offer for a win, which will be followed by three Twenty20s with the same rewards on offer.