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Australia Reclaim The Ashes With 150-Run WACA Win

posted 17 Dec 2013, 06:16 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 17 Dec 2013, 06:16 ]

Australia reclaim the Ashes by beating England by 150 runs in the third test to take an anassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

PERTHWESTERN AUSTRALIAAUSTRALIA (DECEMBER 17, 2013) (AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION) -  Australia reclaimed the Ashes by dismissing England's last five batsmen after lunch on Tuesday (December 17) for a 150-run victory in the third test in Perth to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

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Just three months after England wrapped up a third successive Ashes series triumph by a similarly dominant 3-0 margin back home, Australia wrested back the tiny urn they last held in August 2009.

"We haven't done ourselves justice out there in these three games. People haven't performed like we know they could have done and it is frustrating when that happens," said a dejected England captain Alastair Cook.

Ben Stokes made the Australians sweat through the first session on the fifth and final day of the match with his maiden test hundred - England's first of the series - as the tourists chased their improbable victory target of 504.

Once the 22-year-old lefthander was dismissed for 120 in the third over after lunch to reduce the tourists to 336 for seven, though, Australia quickly ran through the England tail.

Mitchell Johnson, whose fiery spells of pace bowling had turned the first two tests, finished with four for 78 after dismissing James Anderson to end England's innings for 353, sparking wild celebrations from his team mates.

"The simple fact of the matter is we haven't had enough players in form with either bat or ball. That is the simple fact. You cant put it any more honest than that and people in the dressing room know that. It hurts like hell when you say it, when you come into a contest and you end up being second best and as a sportsman to admit that, it's quite hard," Cook said.

England had resumed on 251 for five requiring another 253 runs for an extraordinary victory or more likely needing to bat through the final day to save the test.

Lefthander Stokes, who made his debut in the second test in Adelaide, showed great concentration and no little courage to help England to their biggest innings score of the series.

"On a wicket like that I know as a batter when you see the cracks there, how big they are, to be able to put them out of your mind like he did and the shots he played I thought was outstanding and for him to be able to deliver that in an Ashes Test match, his second test match, under that kind of pressure obviously bodes well," said Cook.

The yawning cracks that had opened up on the sunbaked wicket added an extra danger factor for the batsmen, with one Ryan Harris delivery to Stokes jagging off into the slips.

It was Johnson who made the breakthrough when Matt Prior took a swipe at widish delivery and got a nick on it to be caught behind for 26.

England made it through to lunch at 332-6 but their task always looked too tough and when Stokes was caught behind off spinner Nathan Lyon the end was in sight.

Graeme Swann (four) and Tim Bresnan (12) went in consecutive overs and there was just one more over of England's innings before Johnson delivered the coup de grace with his 23rd wicket of the series.

"You have to give a lot of credit to the way Australia played in those circumstances and throughout the way they have played in the three games. They have been very ruthless with us. When they had a sniff they have taken their chances and when they had us down they kept us down," Cook told reporters.

"I will never feel let down by any of the lads who go out there and put on an England shirt. Whether I could have done more of course that's the first place you look when you lose and of course as a captain the buck stops with you so I have to look at am I managing the players right, am I doing the right things out in the middle. Look, we have to have some honest chats like we always do with people," he said.

Australia won the first test in Brisbane by 381 runs and the second in Adelaide by 218 runs and will now be targeting a 5-0 sweep in the final two tests in Melbourne and Sydney.