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August 12, 2005
Australia 355 and 223 (Rolton 97, Sthalekar 40) drew with England 273 Edwards 69, Brindle 54)
Elsewhere in the country where the other Ashes are being played, you can get long odds on a draw. Stalemate hadn't seemed the likely outcome at Hove either, when Karen Rolton and Julie Hayes bowled Australia into a strong position early on the final day.
But England's Arran Brindle stood firm to rescue the draw with her first Test century, to add to her first-innings half-century. Her 101 not out ensured that both teams will head to the second and final Test at Worcester with everything still to play for.
Cathryn Fitzpatrick again threatened with the bat but the rest of the tail failed to wag: she struck 37 of the final 51 runs which Australia managed for their last five wickets. Clare Connor wrapped up the tail and ended with deserved figures of 4 for 68.
England were left to chase 306 runs for victory, but it was always going to be a stiff ask on a deteriorating pitch. They were soon in trouble with Australia reducing them to 14 for 3, Rolton sending both Laura Newton and Claire Taylor back to the pavilion for ducks and Hayes accounting for Charlotte Edwards for 13.
Patience became the name of the game for England, with Connor and Brindle stabilizing matters. Connor fell for a stoical 21, but Brindle stood firm while Jenny Gunn, Beth Morgan and then Rosalie Birch all gave good, solid support.
Brindle's innings was composed of her usual well-timed strokeplay, with 16 fours in her highest Test score. The support acts efforts weren't innings to entice the spectators - Gunn's 15 came from 66 balls, Morgan's 8 from 80, and Birch's 2 from 29 - but they did the job.
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