London - Adam Lyth's miserable Ashes series continued as England were made
to follow-on by Australia in the fifth and final Test at The Oval on Saturday.
England, at lunch on the third day, were 31 for one in their second innings
-- still a huge 301 runs behind Australia's first innings 481 which featured
captain in waiting Steven Smith's 143.
Alastair Cook, the England captain, was 12 not out and Ian Bell unbeaten on
England at least had the consolation of having won the Ashes at 3-1 up in
the five-match series.
Lyth, desperate for a big score to cement his England place, fell for 10
when the left-hander edged a good length ball from Peter Siddle that cut away
off the pitch to Australia captain Michael Clarke at second slip.
England were then 19 for one, with Lyth having managed just 115 runs in nine
innings this series at an average of under 13.
Fast-medium bowler Siddle, whose recall to the side for this match -- his
first of this Ashes -- was slammed as a "panic" measure by Australia
great Shane Warne, had lunch figures of one for one in six overs, including
Players from both sides wore black armbands in memory of Australia's Arthur
Morris, one of Test cricket's greatest opening batsman and a member of Don
Bradman's celebrated 1948 'Invincibles', whose death at the age of 93 was
England resumed on 107 for eight in their first innings, having lost seven
wickets for just 46 runs during Friday's evening session.
That left them 374 runs behind.
Their collapse was not as bad as Australia's rapid decline to 60 all out on
the first morning of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge, a match England went on
to win by an innings and 78 runs to regain the Ashes on the back of Stuart Broad's
stunning eight for 15.
But Friday's clatter of wickets-- where several batsmen contributed to their
own downfall with reckless shots -- made a mockery of the ambition of Cook's
side to become the first England team to win four Tests in a home Ashes series.
Moeen Ali and Mark Wood, both eight not out overnight, hit out in sunny
conditions ideal for batting during a ninth-wicket partnership of 57.
But they each fell to Mitchell Johnson as the left-arm fast bowler wrapped
up the innings with two wickets in two balls.
Wood, all of whose 24 runs came in boundaries, was the fourth England
batsman in the innings to fall to a miscued pull shot when he skyed Johnson to
Mitchell Starc at mid-on.
Ali was then caught behind for an innings-top score of 30.
Clarke, who will retire from international duty after this match, then asked
England to bat again.
It was the first time any Australia captain had enforced the follow-on since
Ricky Ponting did so against New Zealand at Wellington in 2010 -- a match
Australia eventually won by 10 wickets.