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Molineux Stars on Test Debut as Australia Inch Closer to Retaining Women's Ashes

(Image: Twitter/@ICC)

(Image: Twitter/@ICC)

A Beth Mooney half-century followed by Sophie Molineux (3-71) running through England's top order on debut saw Australia finish Day 3 of the one-off Ashes Test against England on Saturday (July 20) with a 221-run lead.

A Beth Mooney half-century followed by Sophie Molineux (3-71) running through England's top order on debut saw Australia finish Day 3 of the one-off Ashes Test against England on Saturday (July 20) with a 221-run lead.

Starting the day 341-5, Australia lost Jess Jonassen for just eight before Mooney (51) and Molineux (21) looked to add to the visitors' total.

England fought back however, dismissing both of them as Australia declared at 420-8 with just a few overs left before the lunch break. In reply, they ended the day on 199-6 - 71 runs short of the follow-on.

Australia made early inroads with the ball through Ellyse Perry (1-30) who bowled Tammy Beaumont (0) just before lunch was taken.

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Opener Amy Jones (64) made the most of some loose bowling from Australia, teaming up with captain Heather Knight (28) before Molineux struck to remove the latter.

Australia applied the pressure with the ball and were rewarded thanks to a Nicole Bolton run-out before another two wickets to Molineux had Jones and Sarah Taylor (5) back on the sidelines.

Natalie Sciver (62*) proved to be a thorn in Australia's side, the all-rounder finishing the day's play unbeaten alongside Anya Shrubsole (1*).

Australia will now have 108 overs at their disposal to try and get 14 wickets on the fourth and final day of the Test on Sunday. Play was extended from the usual 100 overs to partially make up for some of the two sessions that were lost to incessant rains on Friday.

A draw in this Test will be enough to give Australia the 8-0 lead in the multi-format, points-based series to retain the Ashes. For England, any chances of getting a positive result look highly unlikey.

first published:July 21, 2019, 07:57 IST