Hobart: Australia completed a dominant 4-0 Ashes series victory over England on Sunday by winning the fifth day-night Test by 146 runs with two days to spare.
England, set a target of 271 for victory, crashed to 124 all out in the last session on the third day at Hobart, losing 10 wickets for 56 after Zak Crawley (36) and Rory Burns (26) combined in the best opening stand of the series by putting on 68 runs.
Fast bowlers Scott Boland (3-18) and Cameron Green (3-21) made an impact in their first Ashes series by sharing six wickets on a lively greenish wicket as England crumbled against pace for the second time in the match after being dismissed for 188 in the first innings in reply to Australia’s score of 303.
Australia skipper Pat Cummins also had an impact in his second spell to finish with 3-42 on an eventful day that saw 17 wickets tumble for the second successive day in the game. Cummins, who grabbed the last two wickets off three balls, led from the front in his first series as Australia captain and grabbed 21 wickets.
“It’s pretty crazy, even as a professional cricketer these are the series you have in your diary a couple of years out,” said Cummins.
“Really feels like we are building to something big. To have someone like Cameron Green in his second year to grow as a batter and bowler as well as some of the younger players can’t wait to show our wares overseas, we really judge ourselves in all conditions.”
Earlier, Australia was bowled out for 155 just after the dinner break for an overall lead of 270 runs after it resumed from an overnight 37-3.
England paceman Mark Wood snared 6-37, utilizing short-ball tactics against the Australians to perfection. Alex Carey top-scored for Australia with 49 after getting two reprieves.
“We’ve been outplayed in all areas and credit to Australia,” said England captain Joe Root, who remained the tourists’ lone fighter with 322 runs, behind only Travis Head (357) and Marnus Labuschagne (335) who led the home side.
“We’ve played good cricket in parts, just not been able to structure a whole game together it’s pretty obvious we need to be putting more runs on the board (and) too often we’ve not given our bowlers enough to work.”
Australia missed an early opportunity when Burns could have been out lbw in Mitchell Starc’s second over, but Cummins chose not to go for a television referral as the replays suggested the ball crashing onto the top of the stumps.
Burns and Crawley showed the first real intent from any English batsmen in the series by driving off their pads against Cummins and Starc as they scored at a healthy run-rate of more than four runs an over.
But once Green was introduced at the stroke of the tea break, the tall fast bowler had Burns deflect a short delivery onto his stump as the left-hander was unsure whether to play the ball or leave it.
Green followed up on the breakthrough with two more quick wickets at the start of the last session as Dawid Malan played onto his stumps and Crawley was brilliantly caught behind by Carey off a delivery that swung away from the right-hander and took the edge.
Boland then limited the runs through his impeccable fast bowling before claiming the wicket of skipper Root for the fourth time in the series as the ball stayed below the knee roll and crashed onto the off stump.
Boland then struck in successive overs when Sam Billings, playing in his debut Test, lobbed a gentle catch to mid-on and Carey played another blinder to dismiss Chris Woakes.
Cummins finished off the game by clean bowling Wood and Ollie Robinson as Australia recorded victory in a Test match in which offspinner Nathan Lyon didn’t bowl a single over.
Australia won the first three Test matches before England escaped with a draw at Sydney, where the last pair of batters survived the final two overs under intense pressure in a result that eventually meant the tourists avoided a 5-0 sweep.
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