Aussie women keep hopes alive

Nicole Bolton's debut century helped Australia stay alive in the women's Ashes series with a 26-run win over England in the second ODI.

Opener Bolton's 124 underpinned Australia's total of 266-7 after they opted to bat first at the MCG.

The Perth-born left-hander hit 12 fours in her 152-ball innings and was well supported by Jess Cameron (44) and Alex Blackwell (56) in stands worth 95 and 75 for the second and third wickets respectively.

Natalie Sciver (2-23) bowled Bolton as Australia looked to increase the run-rate in the final 10 overs, while there were also two wickets for Anya Shrubsole (2-61) and Danielle Hazell (2-44).

England lost skipper Charlotte Edwards to the first ball of their run chase, bowled by Holly Ferling, and Lydia Greenway soon followed, lbw for four to Ellyse Perry, to leave the tourists wobbling on 13-2.

Heather Knight (55) and Sarah Taylor (63) responded with half-centuries and put on 84 for the third wicket to revive England's innings.

But the run out of Taylor sparked a collapse from 151-3 in the 33rd over to 240 all out in 46.2 overs, Australia spinner Erin Osborne finishing with 3-49.

England's lead in the points-based Ashes format is cut to 8-2 but they still need only one win from the remaining four matches - another ODI and three T20s - to retain the urn.

Edwards' side picked up six points for their victory in the only Test in Perth and also won the first ODI last Sunday.