Taylor And Edwards Help England Gain First Innings Lead

Australia Women 154 (A Blackwell 45, Guha 5-40) v England Women 222-7 (Edwards 94, C Taylor 79, Sthalekar 3-39) Half-centuries from Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards ensured England Women closed day two of the Ashes Test against Australia 68 runs ahead, although the hosts hit back by taking seven wickets to keep themselves in the contest in Bowral. Resuming play on 22 without loss, England lost openers Caroline Atkins (15) and Beth Morgan (ten) with the score on 26, bringing together Taylor and Edwards, who proceeded to add 159 runs for the third wicket, more than Australia had managed in their first innings. Taylor scored 79 from 252 balls, while Edwards narrowly missed out on a century, scoring 94 from 182 balls. Once Australia, in the form of Ellyse Perry and Lisa Sthalekar, prised those two away from the crease, England lost three further wickets in quick succession, Sarah Taylor (19), Lydia Greenway (nought), and Nicola Shaw (nought) all failing to build on the promising position handed to them by Edwards and Taylor. Sthalekar's excellent spell of bowling returned figures of three for 39, while teenager Perry took two for 46. There was a wicket each for Shelley Nitschke and Emma Sampson. England, who need only a draw to retain the Ashes, bowled Australia out for 154 on day one with Isa Guha taking five for 40. © Cricket World 2008