England and Australia rue missed opportunities after record-breaking draw in women's Ashes Test

By Sports Desk January 30, 2022

Heather Knight and Meg Lanning reflected on a remarkable finish to the only women's Ashes Test as England and Australia were forced to settle for a draw in Canberra.

That had appeared the most likely result heading into the final day's play, with Australia seemingly set to bat out the match and settle for two points – an outcome that forces England to win all three ODIs in order to win back the Ashes.

The same scenario was reached in far more dramatic fashion, however, as Lanning went on the offensive and declared, setting England 257 to win.

The tourists fell 12 agonising runs short in the narrowest draw in a women's Test having also set a fourth-innings record in making 245-9.

But by stumps, England were a little grateful not to have been beaten, as momentum swung back and forth on a chaotic day that saw Australia collect nine wickets in the final session.

Two of those dismissals came particularly late when England seemed set for a stunning success. They required 13 from 15 but lost two wickets for only a single run in a nail-biting finale.

"I'm really pleased with the fact that we got close," captain Knight said. "The psychology changed a little bit, we were giving it a go, and we were suddenly favourites.

"It was probably an opportunity missed, I think we'll reflect on this. But I think we'll look back and think, 'what a game to be involved in'.

"We went toe to toe with the Aussies and we're still in the series, which is the main thing."

Lanning, the Australia skipper, said: "I still don't quite know what happened in that last hour. We declared wanting to take 10 wickets, and England batted extremely well.

"But to fight back like that, I'm very proud of the group, to be able to get back into the game and get pretty close."

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