The Southern Stars have a 196 run lead after reaching 4-90 at stumps on day three.

Only 38 overs were bowled on a rain affected day three as Australia moved to within two runs of the highest ever successful run chase in a women's Test.

Australia had a 106 run lead after bowling England all out for 168 on day two, but their second innings started poorly, when the tourists lost two early wickets to be 2-2, with Villani and Lanning both dismissed for ducks.

Elysse Perry then fell soon after to make it 3-19, before Bolton and Blackwell put together a 32 run partnership, before Bolton fell for 25 to make it 4-51.

Blackwell and Jonassen then negotiated the last period of play before bad light stopped the final session early, as the pair remained not out on 15 and 29 respectively.

The only thing that will stop Australia's charge to victory is the weather, with England starring down the barrel of the biggest ever run chase in women's Test cricket history.

The Southern Stars lead the series 4-2 on points after winning the ODI series 2-1. Four points are awarded to the winner of the Test, with the points split if the match is drawn.

Three T20 internationals follow the Test match, with the Aussies only needing to win one T20 should they claim victory in the Test match.

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