Lucy PearsonPhoto ECB
Lucy Pearson today became only the second woman in the history of women's Test cricket to take an eleven-wicket haul in a match, equalling a record which has stood for 46 years.
Pearson, who took 7-51 in the first innings, and 4-57 in the second, joins the Australian, Betty Wilson, who took eleven wickets in Adelaide in 1957 against England. Pearson was named Player of The Match.
The Ashes remain in Australia following the one Test win for the home side at The Gabba last week, as the closely contested second Test ended in a draw today at The Bankstown Oval, Sydney.
Australia regained the initiative following a strong opening two days from England, with Lisa Sthalaker and Alex Blackwell putting on a fifth wicket world record stand of 136, which was also held by Betty Wilson and V Batty from the 1957 series.
Once Pearson bowled Blackwell, Edwards dismissed Julie Hayes with a direct hit run-out and Claire Taylor caught Fitzpatrick from the bowling of her Yorkshire namesake for 11. Sthalaker finished the innings on 121 not out and Australia declared on 259-7, a lead of 206.
England made the worst possible start to the run chase, losing opener Sarah Collyer for 3 trapped lbw by Emma Twining in the 4th over but Kathryn Leng and Charlotte Edwards began building a platform, reaching their 50 partnership in the 29th over.
England Head Coach, John Harmer, reflected that many positives have come from this tour, not least the return to fluent form of Edwards and Leng's resilience in opening the batting.
Australia struck back either side of tea interval, Leng lbw to centurion Sthalaker for 28 and Thompson trapped the same way by Player of the Series, Cathryn Fitzpatrick for just 4; still 142 runs in arrears.
Whilst Edwards remained at the crease, England always had a chance as the Kent batter hit out with an array of shots, including twenty runs in three overs, driving Twining sweetly through the on-side, sweeping Kris Britt and pulling Hayes in consecutive deliveries.
Edwards was unfortunate to be given lbw to Fitzpatrick with the third ball of her third spell, to a delivery which climbed sharply and struck above the pad.
When Fitzpatrick bowled the seventeen-year-old Lydia Greenway for 0, Claire Taylor, who has found some real constituency in England's middle order, settled nerves again. Taylor frustrated the Australia bowling attack in the last Ashes Series, reaching 137 at Headingley to ensure they batted for a second time, and here she added 21 not out to her 48 not out in the first innings.
England's batting has lost much of the vulnerability which the Australian's exploited eighteen months ago, and despite losing Captain, Clare Connor, for 0, Taylor and Newton ended the match unbeaten, with a deficit of 74 runs and three wickets in hand.
Reflecting on the Series, John Harmer said "we've come a long way together as a team on this tour, and I'm proud of everything the players have achieved. When we arrived in New Zealand for the quadrangular series last month, we were ranked 5th in the world and had already been written off in the Ashes series. Now, we're ranked at 3 in one-day cricket and have competed in every session of the Test matches.
The players are starting to realise they're really not that far away from Australia who are ranked number 1 and we're closing the gap all the time.
We have some genuine match winners in the side in addition to some young talent. We'll look forward to facing South Africa this summer at home".