With a total of 16 points up for grabs across the multi-format series, Australia required just two points from the match to retain the Ashes, with England needing to win the Test and the following three Twenty20 to earn the ten points required to reclaim the trophy. 

Australia began the day 221 runs ahead needing to bowl England out before it reached 270 to force the follow on.

Early wickets to Sophie Molineux (4-95) and Jess Jonassen (2-50) gave Australia hope of doing just that, but defiant batting from England's tail order was enough to see the hosts past the required 270 before declaring nine wickets down.

Australia lost two early wickets in its second innings, with openers Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes before captain Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry (76*) steadied the ship. 

Perry remained the rock in Australia's innings, combing with Beth Mooney, Jess Jonassen and Sophie Molineux to take the score to 4-160 before the two teams called it a day with no possible result in sight.

Lanning has had to defend Australia's decision to bat out the final two sessions rather than declaring and setting England a target.

"We thought about (declaring) and had a good chat about what our options were, and whether we could force a result but we sort of looked at how many overs were left, especially given how many wickets were falling," she said.

"Test cricket’s supposed to be hard and a tough battle and I think that’s exactly what it was. Both teams were trying to get an advantage. I don’t think it was entirely either team’s fault where we ended up in the game, to be honest.

"At different points we were trying to win it, we just lost time throughout and it got to a point where we felt we couldn’t win the game."

The T20I leg of the women’s Ashes will begin in Chelmsford on Friday.