Australia retained the Women’s Ashes as England subsided to a 27-run defeat in the first one-day international in Canberra.
Chasing a below-par 206, the tourists collapsed in a disappointing batting performance to be bowled out for 178 in 45 overs.
They were 10-2 when captain Heather Knight was out lbw for a first-ball duck and, hurt by regular dismissals, never really took control of their chase.
Amy Jones was controversially given out caught off a waist-high full toss for 13 and the tourists slipped further to 103-6 when Nat Sciver was caught and bowled by 18-year-old seamer Darcie Brown for 44.
Katherine Brunt hit 32 not out, putting on 24 with number 11 Kate Cross to give England hope of an unlikely win, but Cross, after being dropped on seven, was caught and bowled by Jess Jonassen for 17 to confirm defeat.
Australia were earlier rescued by Beth Mooney’s 73 as they scraped to 205-9 from their 50 overs.
Amid an excellent England performance in the field, one ultimately wasted by the batting, Mooney led a recovery from 67-4 after three wickets fell for seven runs, and added a crucial eighth-wicket stand of 52 from 152-7 with Alana King.
As holders, Australia only had to draw the series to retain the Ashes and now lead 8-4 in the multi-format Ashes series with two ODIs to play.
England, who could still draw the series with two points available for an ODI win, have now gone four series since they last won the Ashes in 2014.
Australia victorious as batting costs England
This victory seals a series result the vast majority predicted before it began.
Frustratingly, though, England were well-placed at the halfway stage after their bowling efforts but again, as it did in Sunday’s dramatic Test finale, the batting cost Knight’s side.
They effectively had to win all three ODIs to take the series but when Knight was pinned missing a straight ball by Brown, a ball after opener Tammy Beaumont had edged to slip for three, England were always in trouble.
The run-rate was never an issue but the regular loss of wickets was.
Opener Lauren Winfield-Hill picked out deep mid-wicket off Megan Schutt while Jones was caught in similarly disappointing fashion at deep square leg – albeit off a delivery that looked as though it should have been called as a no-ball.
Lower-order runs kept England in it, Danni Wyatt made 20 at number seven before being bowled by Schutt, but ultimately the lack of a meaningful top-order partnership cost them.
Cross overturned an lbw decision on review and was put down in poor fashion by Perry before the result, closer in scoreline than reality, was confirmed.