Australia romp to victory and 4-0 Ashes triumph
January 08, 2018
Australia romped to an innings and 123-runs victory over England after dismissing the tourists for 180 on the final day of the fifth Test in Sydney on Monday to complete a 4-0 Ashes triumph that fell short of a whitewash but was little less emphatic.
England captain Joe Root raced from his hospital bed, where he had been treated overnight for gastroenteritis, to try to rescue a face-saving draw but when he failed to reappear after lunch the die was cast for the tourists.
Australia’s bowling attack – the potency of which has been one of the main points of difference between the two sides – mopped up the last four batsmen at the cost of just 36 runs after the break at Sydney Cricket Ground.
“It has been a great couple of months. The cricket we have played has been outstanding,” said Australia captain Steve Smith.
“We have been able to take 80 wickets in four Test matches. We have just been able to get on top and win those key moments and not let them back in the game, which is crucial.”
Pat Cummins removed Jonny Bairstow (38), Stuart Broad (4) and Mason Crane (2) to finish with figures of 4-39, while Nathan Lyon (3-54) had taken the only wicket of the opening session as he continued his dominance of Moeen Ali.
Cummins was named man of the match while Josh Hazlewood performed the coup de grace when he had James Anderson caught behind for two.
Australia’s batsmen also played a full part in the return of the coveted urn, with Mitchell Marsh, his brother Shaun and Usman Khawaja all getting into three figures as the hosts made 649 declared in their reply to England’s first innings 346.
England managed only three centuries to Australia’s nine over the series, with Smith alone matching their tally.
Anderson, who stood in for the ailing Root in the presentation ceremony, agreed that England’s failure to come out on top at key points during games had proved decisive.
“We were outplayed in the key moments. We have been in the games but just haven’t capitalised on the opportunities we have had,” he added.
“They have a fantastic bowling attack and all the batsmen have come to the party and they have scored runs when the team needed them.”
Smith was named Player of the Series after scoring 687 runs at an average of 137.4, backing up his ranking as the world’s top batsman.
“I am really proud of the way that I have played in the series and led from the front,” he said.
“My mind is probably in as good a space as it has been with my batting.”(Agencies)