CRICKET: A relentless Australia led by debutant Scott Boland beat England to an embarrassing 68 today (December 28) to win the third test by one set and 14 points and keep the Ashes with two games to go.
England batsman Mark Wood (center) leaves the pitch following his dismissal as Australian players celebrate day three of the third Ashes Test Cricket match between Australia and England in Melbourne today (December 28). Photo: AFP
The Tourists recovered in Melbourne on the 31st for four, still 51 points behind, after a disastrous final hour yesterday against exceptional fast bowling that left their Ashes dreams in tatters.
Their survival depended on skipper Joe Root, but when he fell for 28 it was only a matter of time before the rest followed.
Boland, named as injury cover, was invincible on his home ground at MCG, winning 6-7 over four overs, tying the record for the fastest five-wicket transport in 19 balls.
Mitchell Starc finished with 3-29 as England’s misery was complete.
âIt’s pretty crazy. Just a few awesome weeks, everything clicked and everything worked, âsaid Australian skipper Pat Cummins.
âDelighted for Scott Boland. We have been relentless.
Ben Stokes picked up on two, but his bad tour continued when he beat Starc for 11. Jonny Bairstow made five and when Root was out it was all over with the tails following quickly.
âIt’s like that. We’ve come to deal with this kind of environment for quite some time now,â said dispirited Root.
âCredit to Australia, they blew us away. We have a lot of work to do now and we will come back strong in the next two matches. “
Whether there would be gambling was questionable after four members of the English party – two support staff and two family members – tested positive for the coronavirus yesterday.
But all players on both teams underwent PCR testing after strains and returned negative results this morning with the first ball thrown on time.
England headed to Melbourne knowing they must win to keep the Five-Test series alive after heavy losses in Brisbane and Adelaide, with Australia only needing a draw to keep the ballot box as holder.
And they fleetingly competed on the back of a vintage bowling effort from veteran fashion designer James Anderson, which limited Australia to 267 in their first innings in response to tourists’ 185.
But it was only an 82-point lead and any dreams England had of staying in the test, or even winning it, fell apart in the face of an intense and fast-paced bowling blitz yesterday from Starc, Cummins. and Boland.
In an hour of chaos they took out hapless forerunners Zak Crawley (five) and Haseeb Hameed (seven), Dawid Malan for a golden duck and night watchman Jack Leach (0), leaving England to watch in the the 31 for four abyss after another astonishing collapse.
Once again, their hopes rested on Root, who took back 12 points, and the all-round star Stokes, still 51 points behind.
Stokes failed to shoot this streak but whipped Starc for four to show his intention, only for the New South Welshman to devastatingly respond two bullets later with a fuller, tighter delivery that slammed into the stumps. .
Root took a bad hit in the groin area off Cummins on the 23rd and eventually carried on the 28th, caught by David Warner at the Boland slip.
Despite the dismissal, he capped an incredible 12 months for Root with the bat, ending the calendar year with the third-highest number of tests (1,708) in history, topped only by Pakistani Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006 ) and Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976).
England’s miserable strike last night, which followed the collapses in Brisbane and Adelaide, was castigated by British media.
“Gutless England drummers offer a full spectrum of incapacity,” shouted The daily telegraph while The sun slammed “Clueless England”.