Johnson completes England rout


Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson's second-innings five-for completed Australia's 381-run rout on day four of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday.

Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson's second-innings five-for completed Australia's 381-run rout on day four of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane.

The tourists collapsed under the searing pace of Johnson and were all out for 179 on Sunday, after they were skittled for a mere 136 off 52.4 overs in the first innings.

It was England's second-biggest loss by runs at the Gabba, after 2002's 380-plus drubbing.

Man of the Match Johnson finished with five for 42 in the second innings and nine wickets for 103 for the match, along with a spirited knock of 64 in Australia's first innings.

Alastair Cook's dismissal for 65, six balls after the resumption following a heavy afternoon hailstorm, signaled the end for England.

The England skipper tried to cut spinner Nathan Lyon, only to edge to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, exposing his team's tail-end to the inspired opposition bowlers.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior followed two overs later, caught by close-in fielder David Warner off Lyon for four. All-rounders Stuart Broad (four) and Graeme Swann (zero) perished in the next over from firebrand Johnson.

Another burst of rain kept the players off the field for 45 minutes, after which tail-ender Chris Tremlett fell to a short ball from seamer Ryan Harris for seven.

Number 11 James Anderson was the last wicket to fall, top-edging high into the air for Johnson to take the catch off his own bowling. Batsman Joe Root remained unbeaten on 26 off 86 balls.

England looked, at one stage, as if they might be saved by the weather, when a fierce hailstorm drove the players from the field and an early tea was called with the tourists on 142 for four.

But it was only a brief respite and the relentless Australians pushed on to a well-deserved victory ahead of the second Test, starting in Adelaide on 5 December.

Batsman Kevin Pietersen and Cook had safely negotiated the opening hour of the day. But Johnson struck two balls after the first drinks break, when Pietersen injudiciously hooked a bouncer straight to backward square-leg.
Substitute fielder Chris Sabburg claimed the catch in front of an appreciative home crowd.

With England struggling to save the match, it was an inopportune choice of shot by Pietersen, who scored 26 off 52 balls to go with his 18 in the first innings.

England's situation worsened when batsman Ian Bell was beaten by fast bowler Peter Siddle's extra bounce in the 54th over and edged to Haddin for 32.

Three years ago in Brisbane, Cook frustrated Australia with an unconquered 235, as England saved the match with their second-innings 517 for one – after trailing the hosts by 221 on first innings. England drew that match and went on to win the series three-one.

But the odds were against them this time. Australia have not lost a Test at the Gabba since 1988 and the tourists would have had to make Ashes history to win. Their previous highest winning fourth-innings Ashes score was 332 for seven in Melbourne in 1928. The highest winning chase at the Gabba remains Australia's 236 for seven against the West Indies in 1951.