England Leave Australia Struggling
An enthralling third day of the Women's Ashes Test in Perth ended with Australia struggling on 57 for five after they were set 185 to win by England.
On day two, Australia recovered from 37 for five to post 207, and England did a similar job as they resumed on 18 for three and managed to hit 190 in their second innings.
That handed Australia a target of 185 but with Kate Cross taking two wickets in as many balls and three overall, they finished the day still needing a further 128 to win with five wickets in hand.
Arran Brindle (35) and Natalie Sciver (23) began the repair work and took England to 64 before Sciver fell to Ellyse Perry, who went on to take five for 38.
She also removed Brindle, trapped in front but that wicket meant that Charlotte Edwards, off the field for much of day two, was able to come to the crease and she scored an important 56 in 76 balls, putting on 85 with Jenny Gunn for the sixth wicket.
She hit 10 fours before Perry also had her trapped in front but Gunn went on to make 44 in 126 deliveries, doing her best to hold things together before the lower order collapsed.
Danielle Hazell (4), Anya Shrubsole (7) and Cross (0) fell cheaply as Perry completed her five-wicket haul and both Sarah Coyte and Rene Farrell also took wickets.
Australia then made a good start in pursuit of their target through openers Elyse Villani (21) and Meg Lanning (15) before first Brunt, and then Cross, turned the game England's way.
Brunt had Villani caught by Sciver before Cross dismissed Lanning, caught by Sarah Taylor, and Jess Cameron, caught by Heather Knight, in consecutive deliveries.
Alex Blackwell survived the hat-trick ball but didn't last much longer than that when she was caught by Taylor as Cross took her third wicket in six balls.
Jodie Fields made 13 but England's superb end to the day was confirmed when Taylor brilliantly stumped her off a leg-side delivery from Gunn to leave Australia with a huge task ahead of them on the final day.
To get there, Sarah Elliott (unbeaten on five in 50 balls) will need to play a leading role and alongside her at stumps was Perry, on one.
Should they start as England did today, they will be in with a chance. If England carry on as they finished today, they should win their first Ashes Test since 2008.
Six points are on offer for to the winners of the Test match in the multi-format series, which then sees the two sides play three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals where two points are awarded for a win.
© Cricket World 2014
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