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THE Ashes series down-under has been blown wide open thanks to Australia’s crushing 267 run victory over England at the W.A.C.A. Ground in Perth to level the series at 1-1. 😦

All England needed to do to retain the Ashes was to win this Test match, and after England Captain Andrew Strauss had won the toss, put Australia in to bat and the bowlers reduced them to 69-5 everything looked great.

Chris Tremlett was amongst the early Australian wickets.

 

England enjoyed their lunch much more than the Aussies on day one.

But Michael Hussey once again dug his team out of a hole with a score of 61.

England waiting for confirmation of Hussey’s wicket.

But when he was out the Aussies were still six down for 137. The tale-end then waged exuberantly. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin made 53, Mitchell Johnson top-scored with 62, Peter Siddle scored 35 not out and Ben Hilfenhaus made a cameo 13.

Now England had again bowled Australia out on the first day and a score of 268 seemed at little low, especially when England’s openers Strauss and Alastair Cook put on 78 for the opening partnership. Then Mitchell Johnson finally turned up against England. In a spell that cost just 7 runs he dismissed: Cook (32), Jonathan Trott (4), Kevin Pietersen (0) and Paul Collingwood (5). England were now 98-5. Johnson finished the innings with figures of 6-38 and England had collapsed to 187 all out, 81 runs behind Australia. Things could have been much worse had Strauss and Ian Bell not made half centuries.

Johnson finally discovered some form against England.

Australia’s top order (Phillip Hughes (12), Captain Ricky Ponting (1) and Michael Clark (20)) again failed with the bat, leaving Australia on 64-3, leading by 145 runs.

Ricky Ponting has scored just 22 runs in his last 4 innings. 😛

Unfortunately Shane Watson and Hussey’s 113 run fourth wicket partnership turned the match in Australia’s favour. Watson made 95 and Hussey was the last man out with a score of 116.

Mike Hussey – Australia’s in form batsman.

Tremlett had taken five wickets and Australia’s second innings total was 309. With well over two whole days left to play England needed to make 391 runs to win and retain the Ashes.

Tremlett celebrates his first 5-for in a Test match.

I felt quietly confident at this point. England have made scores like this with their eyes closed in the first two Test matches of this series, and two years ago South Africa had chased 414 runs at the W.A.C.A. against Australia and won by 6 wickets.

But, England’s top order crumbled to 81-5 at the close of play on day three. Strauss made just 15, Cook 13, Trott 31 – top scorer of the innings, Pietersen 3 and Collingwood 11.

The run chase never really got going did it Strauss?

Day four wasn’t expected to last too long and truth be told it didn’t. Australia took just 50 minutes to dismiss: night-watchman James Anderson (3), Ian Bell (16), wicketkeeper Matt Prior (10), Graeme Swann (9) and Steven Finn (2).

When Bell was out the match was all but over.

Ryan Harris took six wickets for 47 runs and England had been knocked over for a messily 123 in 37 overs, handing Australia victory by 267 runs.

Ryan Harris celebrates his best Test figures and Australia levelling the series.

For his performances with both bat and ball (‘bout time) Mitchell Johnson was awarded Man of the Match.

To all Australian’s reading this post, we had to let you win one, and we will squash you in the Boxing Day Test at the M.C.G. You have been warned!

Ashes 2010/11 3rd Test – W.A.C.A. Ground, Perth

England won the toss and elected to field

Australia

vs.

England

268 (76 overs @ 3.53 rpo)

1st Innings

187 (62.3 overs @ 2.99 rpo)

M.G. Johnson 62 (93)

I.R. Bell 53 (90)

J.M. Anderson 3-61

M.G. Johnson 6-38

309 (86 overs @ 3.59 rpo)

2nd Innings

123 (37 overs @ 3.32 rpo)

M.E.K. Hussey 116 (172)

I.J.L. Trott 31 (61)

C.T. Tremlett 5-87

R.J. Harris 6-47

Umpires – Billy Doctrove (WI) and Marais Erasmus (Rsa)

Australia won by 267 Runs – Series Level at 1-1 with two Tests remaining

Man of the Match = M.G. Johnson

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