England 3 for 178 (Edwards 70*, Taylor 56) beat Australia 177 (Rolton 65, Nitschke 54) by seven wickets

Fairytale finish: Charlotte Edwards hits the winning runs to start England's celebrations © Getty Images

The cool head of Charlotte Edwards, who celebrated her 100th ODI in style, made sure England cannot lose the five-match series against Australia after a seven-wicket victory at the SCG. Chasing the home team's 177, England - who had lost their coach Mark Dobson just before this match - were not really troubled as Edwards timed their run perfectly, securing the win with four overs to spare. They had come here with only one win on Australian soil and have now won twice in a week.

Ellyse Perry, the 17-year-old allrounder, knocked over both openers by the time the tourists reached 37, but Claire Taylor and Edwards took their time to rebuild and then set their sights on the target. The pair shared a vital stand of 131 in 33.2 overs, with Edwards taking the upper hand.

Taylor's 56, which finished in a run out at the bowler's end, took 116 balls while Edwards collected at a much quicker rate in registering an unbeaten 70 from 100 deliveries. She hit seven boundaries and the winning runs, walking off knowing her team is the only one that can take the series in Monday's final fixture, which would be their first series win in Australia.

"It's been a fairytale game for me," Edwards said. "It's my best game of cricket and I've waited 100 one-day internationals for it and it's definitely worth it."

Karen Rolton, the Australia captain, had tried her best to set a significant total with a typically powerful innings. Twelve fours rained in her 65 off 71 and she received early support from Shelley Nitschke's 54. However, they never recovered from the loss of Rolton at 2 for 112 and were mainly troubled by Nicki Shaw and Laura Marsh, who picked up three wickets each.

"Our comeback in the field from 112 for 2 to 177 all out was a turning point for me," Edwards said. "It showed our determination and put us in the driving seat going into our innings."