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RESULT
Only Test, Nottingham, June 22 - 26, 2023, Australia Women tour of England
473 & 257
(T:268) 463 & 178

AUS Women won by 89 runs

Player Of The Match
40, 4/99 & 8/66
ashleigh-gardner
Report

Ashleigh Gardner eight-for, 12 in the match, as Australia claim Ashes advantage

Victory on fifth day puts tourists 4-0 in multi-format series against England

Valkerie Baynes
Valkerie Baynes
26-Jun-2023
Ashleigh Gardner became only the second woman to pick eight wickets in a Test innings, England vs Australia, Only Test, Women's Ashes, Nottingham, 5th day, June 26, 2023

Ashleigh Gardner became only the second woman to pick eight wickets in a Test innings  •  Getty Images

Australia 473 (Sutherland 137*, Perry 99, Ecclestone 5-129) and 257 (Mooney 85, Healy 50, Ecclestone 5-63) beat England 463 (Beaumont 208, Sciver-Brunt 78, Knight 57, Gardner 4-99) and 178 (Wyatt 54, Gardner 8-66) by 89 runs
Ashleigh Gardner sent down her arm ball, Amy Jones charged past and the ball bounced off Alyssa Healy's battered hands, onto her chest then into the gloves, Australia's tough-as-nails wicketkeeper whipping off the bails with a millimetre or two to spare as Jones was sent trudging back to the changing room. It handed Gardner her fifth of a stunning eight wickets for the innings after she had been pivotal in putting the tourists on top at Trent Bridge heading into the fifth and final day of an enthralling Women's Ashes Test. It was also a turning point in this match which Australia won by 89 runs to claim four crucial points for the series.
Healy pulled off the dismissal despite fractures to her left index finger and right ring finger, suffered during Australia's warm-up match, and Gardner didn't stop there, claiming 8 for 66 in the innings to end with 12 wickets for the match, the best Women's Test return for Australia and second-best overall.
Jones's dismissal, for just 4, left Danni Wyatt as England's only recognised batter, at the crease opposite Sophie Ecclestone with 117 runs still needed if they were to pull off the highest successful run chase in Women's Test history. And while Wyatt reached her half-century on debut, it was not enough as she was the last wicket to fall - to none other than Gardner, lbw for 54. England may now have to win as many as five of the remaining six white-ball games if they are to claim the Ashes for the first time since 2013-14.
Wyatt had kept the runs flowing steadily after resuming on 20 with England 116 for 5 and needing 152 more. She pounced on some width offered by Tahlia McGrath, driving to the rope through cover and punching Kim Garth past gully, then brought up her fifty whipping Gardner's shorter delivery away for a single.
Gardner had removed the threat of first-innings double-cenuturion Tammy Beaumont, captain Heather Knight and the dangerous Nat Sciver Brunt on Sunday evening in a stunning spell which yielded three wickets for nine runs in the space of 17 balls. And it was her impeccable lengths and line outside off stump that proved devastating on the last morning. She invited Kate Cross, the nightwatcher unbeaten on 5 overnight, to drive and she obliged but managed only to edge to Healy.
Ecclestone, who had kept England in the contest with her 10 wickets for the match - made up of twin five-wicket hauls - fell lbw as Gardner switched to bowling round the wicket. The Australia allrounder then removed Lauren Filer for a duck with one that crashed into off stump before rapping Wyatt on the pad as she attempted to sweep. Gardner had taken 4 for 99 in England's first innings, in which they conceded a lead of just 10 runs to Australia.
The Australians had set England 268 to win - helped by half-centuries to Beth Mooney and Healy, who broke a string of three Test ducks - which would have surpassed England's own record for the highest fourth-innings total of 245 for 9 during last year's dramatic draw in Canberra. But Gardner ensured that wasn't to be, as Australia broke a run of six draws in women's Tests going back to 2015 in an excellent advertisement for playing over five days as opposed to four.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women's cricket, at ESPNcricinfo

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