England’s all-conquering women’s team left it late on Friday to enjoy yet another win over Australia this season.
Laura Marsh’s two runs off the last ball saw England beat Australia by two wickets to win the third one-day international at Stratford-upon-Avon and so take an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
Australia managed 150 for eight in a game reduced by rain to 29 overs per side and for a long time that looked a winning score.
Ellyse Perry chipped in with 16 off nine balls, and then removed star bat Claire Taylor and England captain Charlotte Edwards.
Taylor, Caroline Atkins — who top-scored with 35 — and Edwards all fell in quick succession as England slumped from 62 for one to 73 for four.
But Beth Morgan (18) and Katherine Brunt (13) edged them nearer their target, before Jenny Gunn (11 not out) and Marsh (8 not out) saw them home.
Nicky Shaw gave World Cup and World Twenty20 champions England the initial advantage by dismissing Shelley Nitschke for a duck and Leah Poulton for 7.
Lisa Sthalekar (38) and Lauren Ebsary (40) put on 79 for Australia’s fourth wicket, but Sthalekar’s dismissal by Morgan sparked a collapse that saw them decline from 102 for three to 105 for seven.
England also beat Australia in last month’s World Twenty20 semi-final. Australia have won just two matches, including a World Twenty20 practice fixture, out of a possible six against England since arriving.
Today sees the fourth one-day international in Wormsley, northwest of London, before the series concludes at Lord’s on Tuesday.
England then defend the women’s Ashes in a one-off Test at Worcester starting on Friday.