Ashes

Oz on brink of Ashes victory

2013-12-09 07:09
Michael Clarke (Getty)

Adelaide - Australia wrapped up a comprehensive 218-run victory over England on Monday to take a 2-0 series lead, leaving them on the brink of reclaiming the Ashes.

The home team captured the four remaining wickets in just under an hour on the final morning in Adelaide and are now just one victory away from winning back the famous urn after three consecutive series defeats.

It was a second emphatic reverse for England after they lost in Brisbane by 381 runs and the tourists must regroup before the third Test, which starts in Perth on Friday. England have only won once in 12 Tests on the traditionally pacy WACA pitch.

"I think that something that is most pleasing is we are finally getting some results," said Australian skipper Michael Clarke, who nevertheless cautioned that his side still had work to do in their quest to return to the top of the world rankings.

"I think we have to be realistic," said Clarke. "That's our second Test win in the past 12 months - certainly not a record we're proud of. There's a lot of work for us to do to get back to being the number one team in the world and that's our goal."

Australia's victory in Brisbane was their first Test win since they beat Sri Lanka in January. They lost 3-0 to England in July-August.

England captain Alastair Cook admitted his side lost the game on the first day when they were guilty of several dropped catches, allowing Australia to pile up an imposing 570 for nine declared, with Clarke making 148.

"On that first day we had an opportunity to a put a bit of pressure on Australia. We let a few chances go, and they really made us pay for that," he said.

Cook said England's first innings total of 172 was not good enough.

"You don't get too many chances on good wickets and we had the opportunity then and we didn't take it. I thought that was the main difference. Australia took their chances very well," he said.

"The only guys who can change it are the guys in the dressing room. No one else can change it for us. We can't sit there moping about it. It's hurting us like hell but we're the only guys who can change it."

Demon paceman Mitchell Johnson was named man-of-the-match for the second consecutive Test after his seven for 40 in England's first innings.

"I guess having that intimidation factor is definitely a bonus," said Johnson, who has now taken 17 wickets in the series at 12.70, silencing the England fans who mercilessly taunted him for wayward bowling during the last Ashes series Down Under.

"It wasn't probably quite there in the last couple of Ashes series for me, so to be able to come out, just back my ability, and know what I wanted to bowl, I have just really enjoyed it, so I will continue to do that throughout the series."

Under overcast skies on Monday, wicketkeeper Matt Prior showed defiance for the tourists, reaching 69 off 102 balls, before he became the ninth batsman to go.

Stuart Broad fell to the fifth ball of the final day, caught in the deep by Nathan Lyon for 29 off Siddle after pulling the previous ball for six.

England's Barmy Army supporters attempted to get under Johnson's skin, but the paceman retorted by peppering Prior with a couple of short-pitched deliveries.

Prior saw off Johnson and was looking to reprise his fighting unbeaten century to force a draw against New Zealand in March. The wicketkeeper reached his 27th Test half-century off 88 balls.

Graeme Swann (six) was caught at second slip off Ryan Harris and Prior's resistance ended when he fell hooking Siddle to Harris on the boundary rope. Siddle was the pick of the Australian bowlers with figures of 4-57.

Monty Panesar was the final England wicket to fall, hitting to Chris Rogers at short extra cover to give Harris his third scalp of the innings.


Read more on:    england  |  ashes  |  michael clarke  |  cricket
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