Lanning and Perry earn Australia Ashes lead
Australia Women 241 for 7 (Lanning 85, Perry 67) beat England Women 152 (Greenway 45, Beams 3-13) by 89 runs
An outstanding all-round display from Ellyse Perry earned Australia the lead in the Women's Ashes as they claimed the one-day series 2-1, giving them a 4-2 points advantage over England heading into the Test match next month.
Perry, whose record-breaking run of fifty-plus scores was narrowly ended when she fell for 48 in the second ODI, scored a lively 67 off 58 balls, contributing to an 85-run fourth-wicket stand with in-form captain Meg Lanning, who narrowly failed to make it back-to-back hundreds with 85 off 89 deliveries.
Defending a total of 241 - above par considering the slowness of the outfield - Perry then removed England's two key batsmen, Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor, in a pinpoint opening spell that immediately put England behind the asking rate. Edwards fell fourth ball, edging an outswinger, and Taylor played across the line. From there, the innings never found the momentum needed to really trouble Australia.
The match was being played on the reserve day after Sunday's washout at New Road and it was no surprise when Australia were invited to bat. It was tough going early on as Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole probed with the new ball and after 10 overs Australia had crawled to 24 though, crucially, they had not shipped any wickets.
Georgia Elwiss struck with her first delivery and the England bowlers continued to keep control of the scoring, but Lanning began to find her stride with consecutive boundaries off Laura Marsh in the 20th over. When Nicole Bolton picked out mid-off and Alyssa Healy offered Heather Knight a return catch there was a chance England could take charge. Lanning and Perry, however, formed a masterful partnership and were aided by some poor ground fielding - an aspect of England's game that has dipped in this series.
Lanning went to her fifty off 67 deliveries, with her next 35 runs coming from just 22 deliveries as she and Perry pressed the accelerator during the Powerplay. Lanning's quest for another hundred ended with a catch in the deep, but Perry brought up her half-century from 51 balls with a sixth boundary.
Although England struck three times in the last seven deliveries to keep Australia under 250, the final 10 overs of the innings had brought 79 runs.
At the interval, Taylor stressed the importance of one of the top order batting through the chase, but those plans were soon being ripped up due to Perry's immediate follow-up to her batting display. From 10 for 2 in the third over Knight and Lauren Winfield tried to rebuild before Winfield paid for some dozy running by being found short by a throw from square leg.
Either side of a brief stoppage for rain, Knight and Lydia Greenway battled to a stand of 42, but they were rarely dominant as the asking rate continue to rise before Knight was bowled by Jess Jonassen as she moved too far across trying to sweep a full delivery.
Brunt was promoted to try and inject some impetus into the innings - and to keep the DLS total in sight should the rain return - and for a little while there was a modicum of pressure on Australia. Brunt collected the first six of the series, while Greenway began to find the gaps which eluded her at the start of her innings but when she fell for 45 England's final demise set in as the last six wickets fell for 29.
Legspinner Kristen Beams helped clean up with 3 for 13 - although she did send down one delivery which slipped out of her hand and ended up near backward point - as the innings concluded with some wild swinging from England. Perry was the Player of the Match and the Series. The Test match in Canterbury, from August 11, awaits with the advantage, for now, with Australia.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo