England's chances of regaining the Women's Ashes were left hanging by a thread as Australia dominated day one of the only Test in the multi-format series in Taunton.
Ellyse Perry's unbeaten 84 was the highlight of an impressive batting performance by the Southern Stars on Thursday. Alyssa Healy (58), Meg Lanning (57) and Rachael Haynes (54no) also added important contributions as the away side reached a daunting 265-3 at the close of play.
Needing to win the Test to keep the series alive, the hosts' bowlers offered the visitors' batters too much width early on in the day, while poor fielding added to their struggles after being asked to bowl first by Lanning on the used surface on offer.
Spinner Kirstie Gordon (1-53) enjoyed a fine debut, bowling Healy for her maiden Test scalp, but the day was littered with injuries for England - Tammy Beaumont requiring an X-ray after being struck on her thumb at short extra cover the worst blow.
With poor weather forecast for Friday in the four-day Test match, the chances of picking up the required victory in this game to keep the series alive look to be diminishing.
Slow start costs England
Five players, Gordon and Amy Jones for England and Tayla Vlaeminck, Ashleigh Gardner and Sophie Molineux for Australia, were handed their Test debuts in the West Country.
A fine hostile opening spell from Brunt earned her the scalp of Nicole Bolton (6) but she was not well backed up by fellow pace bowler Anya Shrusbole.
The decision to bowl width to tempt an edge from Healy only succeeded in handing the Australian opener ample opportunities to find the boundary - her knock of 58 including 10 fours and 10 singles.
With Healy and Lanning's second-wicket partnership beginning to look ominous, Gordon picked up her first red-ball wicket by bowling the former behind her legs - ending a stand of 66.
England captain Heather Knight looked to make full use of her three spinners, though Sophie Ecclestone suffered a bruised arm after falling awkwardly going for a catch in the field.
Lanning and all-rounder Perry continued to push ahead, the pair forging another impressive partnership that saw the former bring up her maiden Test half-century - making the most of being put down at short extra cover by fellow captain Knight on 26.
Perry and Haynes in cruise control
Despite carrying a bruised arm and shoulder, Ecclestone got the prized wicket of Lanning after lunch - pushing the Southern Stars' skipper back in her crease before rattling the top of off stump.
However, the loss of a third wicket did little to stop Australia's serene batting progress, with the pitch not offering too many demons despite the footholes.
Haynes looked to drop anchor, and after reaching 26 off 34 balls with six boundaries she managed just 16 runs off her next 90 deliveries with only one four.
At the opposite end, Perry's masterclass in batting was in full flow, the 28-year-old picking up from her unbeaten 213 in the previous Test against England at the South Sydney Oval in November 2017 with aplomb.
The all-rounder reached her half-century off 117 balls with seven fours before Haynes eventually reached her fifty from 145 balls - in between a couple of hesitant moments searching for the single to bring up the milestone.
An unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 105 off 281 balls between Haynes and Perry ensured Australia's already commanding position in series was further reinforced.
Watch day two of the Women's Ashes Test match live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Friday.