England v India, 2nd women's Test, Taunton, 3rd day August 31, 2006

Edwards century keeps England hopes alive

Cricinfo staff

England 99 and 204 for 2 (Edwards 100*, Atkins 68*) trail India 307 by 3 runs

Captain's innings don't come much more important. Charlotte Edwards' third Test century after England followed on earlier today has kept their slim hopes of saving this Test alive. The home side were really in dire straits as their collapse at the hands of India continued at Taunton, with Jhulan Goswami claiming 5 for 33 from 13 hostile overs.

Dismissed for 99, they were in more trouble at 34 for 2 in their second innings after losing both Laura Newton (3) and Claire Taylor (12) cheaply. Goswami accounted for Newton for the second time this match, bowling her once more and when Taylor was run out England were staring right down the barrel, still 173 runs adrift of India's first-innings total.

But Edwards came together with Caroline Atkins and they lifted England to 204 by the close, in a third-wicket partnership that is so far worth 170. Atkins battled valiantly for her 68 runs which have come from 282 balls and Edwards reached her century in the last over of the day, to a rousing reception from the crowd who know just how important this innings is on a seesawing day.

Yet although India took their foot off the gas in the latter stages of the day, they will still be confident of prising out the final eight wickets they need for victory when play resumes on the fourth and final day.