Home > Cricket News, News > England skittle Australia to retain Ashes

England skittle Australia to retain Ashes

England have put together a complete performance with bat and ball to embarrass Australia and retain the Ashes at the MCG, with one Test remaining.

In what has become a painful 3 days of cricket for Australian fans, England finally put Australia away on the third morning to complete an innings and 157 run victory.

After James Anderson (4-44) and Chris Tremlett (4-26) ran through the Aussies for 98 on the first morning, England took control of the contest to retain the Ashes in Australia for the first time since 1986/87, where they also claimed the series in Melbourne.

England then piled on 513, with Johnathon Trott the start scoring 168, to further bury Australia. Important contributions from Alistair Cook (82) and Matt Prior (85) combined perfectly with Trott, who hardly looked troubled by the barren Australian attack, despite struggling with a knee injury for a large part of the innings.

The Poms then finished the job, cleaning Australia up for 258 on the fourth morning to claim victory, and retain the Ashes. Second innings destroyers Tim Bresnan (4-50) and Graeme Swann (2-59) rolled through the holpless Australian batsman, helped ably by Shane Watson’s calling and decision making.

In further pain to the Australians, their most consistent bowler for the series, Ryan Harris, suffered a stress fracture in his ankle, and will miss the remainder of the summer and the World Cup in the sub-continent. Harris, who has already struggled in his international career with knee injuries, pulled up lame in his 29th over before limping off the ground clearly distraught.

The only bright spot for the home side was the form of pace man Peter Siddle, who claimed 6-75 to couple with a hat-trick and 6 wicket haul in Brisbane. At one point Siddle had 5 wickets and two quality outfield catches to have a hand in all 7 Australian wickets. Siddle also provided some resistance to the Poms in the second innings with an entertaining 40, before falling to Graeme Swann.

Putting the Australians out of their misery now allows for an extensive post-mortem, where plenty of questions will be asked, including the future of captain Ricky Ponting. Ponting was clearly feeling the heat throughout the series, both with the bat and as a leader, boiling over to a protest with umpire Aleem Dar over a reviewed decision, which saw Ponting lose 40% of his match fee.

Stay tuned to Who’s Playing Who.net and this week’s podcast as we review what this means for the Australians and English, and where to now for both sides.

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