England women close on Ashes defence and leave men in shade

 
Frank Dalleres
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ENGLAND’S women restored some pride to the national cricketing set-up yesterday by taking a major step towards retaining the Ashes in Australia.

Their 61-run triumph in the sole Test of the series means they only need to win two of the six limited-overs matches to retain the urn.

England bowler Anya Shrubsole took three wickets on the fourth and final day in Perth to prevent Australia from reaching their victory target of 185.

A Test triumph is worth six points while one-day and Twenty20 wins earn two points. The first ODI clash is in Melbourne on Sunday.

“This is not the Ashes won, we’ve got to win more games now,” said England captain Charlotte Edwards. “We have to keep working hard and hopefully we’ll take the Ashes home.”

England’s men suffered a 5-0 whitewash in their Ashes series Down Under this winter.

The World Test Championship, meanwhile, is expected to be shelved for a second time due to insufficient interest from sponsors and broadcasters.

The play-off competition between the top four ranked Test nations is currently scheduled to be held in England during the summer of 2017. It was initially planned for 2013 but postponed.