England wins 2nd Ashes test after Aussie collapse

England wrapped up the test and a 1-0 series lead before lunch on the final day, with Swann, Jimmy Anderson and Steven Finn combining to claim the last six wickets for 66 runs after Australia had resumed at 238-4 with high hopes of salvaging a draw or being saved by forecast rain.

England wins 2nd Ashes test after Aussie collapse England wins 2nd Ashes test after Aussie collapse“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but if we keep these standards we have a good chance of winning the series,” England captain Andrew Strauss said.
The third test starts 16th December in Perth and England, which holds the Ashes after winning at home last year, could conceivably retain the old urn by taking a 2-0 lead ahead of the fourth and fifth tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

“We’ve been totally outplayed this game, there’s no hiding that,” Australia captain Ricky Ponting said. “Now we have to find a way to get better for Perth.

“No doubt it’s a bad loss for us, there’s no hiding that fact, an innings and 70 runs having won the toss on a good Adelaide wicket, probably just about says it all,” he said.

Australia rallied for a stunning comeback win at Adelaide in the previous Ashes series at home, and went on to complete a 5-0 series sweep to avenge losing the previous series in England.

But after a draw to open this series in Brisbane and the loss in Adelaide, Ponting’s squad looks vulnerable to slumping to its first Ashes series loss on Australian soil in more than two decades.

After Michael Clarke was out on the last ball Monday evening to part-time spinner Kevin Pietersen, Australia’s hopes rested on Mike Hussey working with the middle order and tailenders.

But Finn made the crucial breakthrough when Hussey mistimed a pull to Anderson at mid-on to depart for 52.

Three wickets in four balls effectively ended Australia’s chances of a draw. Anderson had Brad Haddin caught behind for 12 and trapped Ryan Harris lbw with consecutive deliveries.

Harris’ exit gave him two first-ball dismissals, known as a “king pair.” He is only the second Australian batsman after Adam Gilchrist in 2001 who has had that dubious milestone in test cricket.

Two balls later, Swann had Marcus North trapped lbw for 22. England’s appeal was initially turned down but the video umpire ruled that the ball had struck the Australian batsman in front of the stumps and would have gone on to dislodge the bails.

Swann then bowled Xavier Doherty and Peter Siddle to finish with a five-wicket haul and complete England’s 100th test victory over Australia.

Before the wickets fell, North had a reprieve on 3 when Swann struck his pad but he was adjudged not out by the video umpire.

A chance from Hussey was dropped in the same over.

But England took the new ball and three overs later, the breakthroughs followed.

The only setback for England was the abdominal injury for Stuart Broad which will rule the paceman out for the serious.

Australia’s woes continued with veteran opener Simon Katich injuring his Achilles and likely to miss the remainder of the series.

Kevin Pietersen was voted player of the match after scoring a career-best 227 in England’s 620-5 declared – helping the visitors to a 375-run first-innings lead – and taking the crucial wicket of Clarke to end the fourth day.

“It’s pretty incredible, (England) having been so bad four years ago to be 1-0 up in the Ashes,” Pietersen said. “If we keep doing the right things, we’ll win the Ashes.”

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