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Ashes

Australia thrash England in Perth to regain the Ashes

Ed Kemp by Ed Kemp 1 minute read

Josh Hazlewood took five wickets as Australia cruised to victory by an innings and 41 runs to seal the Ashes at the WACA in Perth.

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The fifth day began in farcical fashion as leaks through the covers caused a three-hour delay despite fine weather. It threatened to be an ignominious ending to the WACA’s time as an Ashes – and perhaps international – venue.

But the ignominy was England’s, as play began after 1pm. The cracking pitch was misbehaving by now – that advantage Australia’s thanks to the monstrous triple-century partnership between Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh in their first innings – and Jonny Bairstow fell to one that kept low in the first over.

Dawid Malan battled for 54 to follow his 140 in the first innings, but ultimately England collapsed to 218 all out before tea: Moeen Ali fell lbw to Nathan Lyon, Malan was caught behind from an attempted pull off Hazlewood, who also had Craig Overton (playing with a cracked rib)  caught in the gully, to end with 5-48. Stuart Broad gloved behind off Cummins who then wrapped up the innings with the wicket of Chris Woakes to seal Australia’s unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.

It was a miserable Test match for England, after a first day of such promise with Malan’s maiden century and the possibility of a first-innings score in excess of 450. After that, their frailties were ruthlessly exposed as Australia demolished their tail on the second day, blunted and then crushed a toothless attack on the third and fourth, before sealing the deal with the ball yet again to secure victory by and innings and 41 runs.

England now face the task of avoiding a third 5-0 whitewash in four Ashes tours. Though less experienced players like Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Dawid Malan and Craig Overton have shown glimpses of promise, the tourists will reflect that in the series so far their senior players have contributed too little. Alastair Cook and Joe Root have contributed just 259 runs between them and Stuart Broad has averaged 61.80 with the ball.

Root said: “It’s bitterly disappointing. You take a lot of responsibility as captain. Fair play to Australia, they outplayed us in this game and won the key moments.

“I am proud of the way we battled, but we were outskilled. We have been in every game but not managed to drive it forwards.

“We haven’t been completely outplayed we just haven’t performed at that level for long periods of time.

“It’s hard to take but it’s part of cricket.”

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