England will take a 17 run lead into the third day of the final Ashes Test match, with six wickets in hand, after finishing the day on 151-4 in reply to Australia's first innings score of 134.

Play finally resumed at 2pm following heavy overnight rain in Sydney and further showers this morning, with Kathryn Leng and Charlotte Edwards adding 28 runs before Leng was run out chasing a tight single for 21.

England then tumbled from 48-1 before a second heavy shower to 70-4, Edwards adjudged lbw for 40, and Arran Thompson became leg-spinner Kris Britt's first international wicket, also lbw for 2.

The new pair were Kent and Under 19 player Lydia Greenway and the experienced Claire Taylor, who took England to 151-4 with an unbeaten partnership of 81; Taylor finishing on 45 and Greenway on 31.

In the last Ashes Series, Taylor reached 138 at Headingley in July 2001, and despite a lean spell in the recent tour, played with power and fluency, pulling both Sthaleaker and Hayes and executing her trademark cover drive with precision to take England into the lead in the eightieth over.

Taylor and Greenway gave few chances to the bowlers as both exploited the increasing gaps in the Australia field. Greenway batted with composure and some bravery facing Fitzpatrick for the first time, with the new ball, in the final half an hour of play as the fastest bowler in the women's game struck the teenager on the shoulder.

Both followed Charlotte Edward's lead, the England vice-captain pulling Fitzpatrick in successive deliveries to ensure that England passed the home team's total by the close of play.

Taylor said "I enjoy facing Australia as it's such a huge challenge. There was a clear job to do today and I felt comfortable and confident throughout.

Batting with Lydia posed problems particularly as we are a left/right hand combination. We both played well, and we're looking forward to going out there again in the morning.

We can really enjoy it, there's a lot of good batters to come in our team and we'll be looking to get as big a lead as possible".

Yesterday, England bowler Lucy Pearson returned career best figures of 7-51 to dominate the Australia batters.