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Knight leads by example as England frustrate Australia to keep Ashes hopes alive

Heather Knight’s unbeaten 79 helped England save the Women’s Ashes Test at the North Sydney Oval

CRICKET 12/11/17 11:26
Knight leads by example as England frustrate Australia to keep Ashes hopes alive

England dug deep to force a Test draw against Australia and keep alive their hopes of securing the Women’s Ashes.

The tourists headed into the final day of the day-night contest 128 runs in arrears – on 40 without loss – at the North Sydney Oval, and needing to avoid defeat to retain any hope of reclaiming the urn in the multi-format series.

Openers Lauren Winfield (34) and Tammy Beaumont (37) were the only wickets to fall on Sunday, with England captain Heather Knight (79 not out) and Georgia Elwiss (41no) frustrating the hosts before Knight and opposite number Rachel Haynes agreed to call it a day.

The result meant the sides took two points apiece, with Australia leading 6-4 going into Friday’s first of three Twenty20 matches.

Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry had previously stolen the show with a masterful unbeaten 213 to propel her side to 448 for nine declared.

Winfield and Beaumont survived a testing spell under lights on Saturday night, but both departed in Sunday’s opening session.

Beaumont was bowled by Amanda-Jade Wellington, and, when Winfield was trapped in front by Tahlia McGrath the visitors were shaking on 89 for two – still 79 behind.

But the home team, pushing for the victory which would have ensured they retained the urn, could make no further inroads.

Georgia Elwiss
Georgia Elwiss helped her captain earn a draw (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Knight hit 79 off 220 balls – her second half-century in this Test – and Elwiss hung around for 190 deliveries for her 41 runs.

The teams shook hands with England on a second-innings score of 206 for two, and needing to win all three T20 games to reclaim the Ashes.