England’s Ashes hopes scattered in Perth


Australia regained the Ashes on Monday when they beat England by an innings and 41 runs in the third Test of the series at the WACA in Perth.

Coming into the final day still needing 127 runs to make the home team bat again, but with only six wickets remaining, England were helped when the start of play was delayed because of a damp spot on the pitch.

When play eventually did get underway, in the second session, the tourists got off to the worst possible when overnight batsman Jonny Bairstow (14) was bowled by Josh Hazlewood without adding a run to the total.

Moeen Ali (11) once again fell to Nathan Lyon, the off-spinner trapping the left-hander lbw with one that went straight on.

Dawid Malan, in the mean time, reached his fifty to go with his first innings century and can walk away from the WACA with his head held high.

However, Hazelwood made the breakthrough when Malan feathered one to wicketkeeper Tim Paine, the Australia seamer then completing his sixth five-wicket haul in Tests when had Craig Overton also snaffled by Paine.

Stuart Broad did not show an appetite to face the short ball and it was no surprise when Pat Cummins had him tickle one down the leg side into Paine’s gloves.

James Anderson took a heavy blow to the helmet from Cummins but carried on and actually showed good character to survive 27 minutes in the middle.

But the inevitable happened when Chris Woakes was caught behind off Cummins to spark wild celebrations from the Australia team who regained the urn having lost in England two years ago.

England will be disappointed that they let this game slip as they collapsed in the first innings from 368/4 to be 403 all out, while a good total, when it should really have been close to 500.

That score was put in it’s place when the hosts piled on 662/9 with captain Steve Smith hitting a career-best 239.

There are still two Tests remaining in the Ashes, the traditional Boxing Day New Year Tests in Melbourne and Sydney, with the Aussies now aiming for a five-nil whitewash.