Sunday, 22 May, 2022

Australia win fifth Test, clinch Ashes 4-0

Australia win fifth Test, clinch Ashes 4-0
Australia’s players celebrate with the trophy after defeating England on the third day of their fifth Ashes Test in Hobart on Sunday. – AFP PHOTO

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Australia’s fast bowlers ran through the English batting line-up to claim a comprehensive 146-run win in the fifth and final Ashes Test at Hobart on Sunday, sealing a one-sided series 4-0.

After a bright 68-run opening stand chasing 271 for victory, England collapsed once again to hand the Test to the rampant Australian outfit, losing 10 wickets for 56 runs in 137 balls.

The hosts could easily have won the series 5-0, but for some bad weather and heroics from England's lower order in Sydney, when the outclassed visitors held on for a tense draw.

"To be at the end of a five-Test series with so many positives -- winning 4-0 -- it's huge so I'm really pumped," Australian captain Pat Cummins said.

England had no answers once more in Hobart to the pace barrage of Cummins, Cameron Green, Scott Boland and Mitchell Starc, who shared the wickets between them and took nine English wickets in the night session.

So dominant were the fast bowlers, off-spinner Nathan Lyon did not bowl a ball in the entire match.

England captain Joe Root admitted his side were simply not good enough throughout the series.

The tourists had bowled Australia out for 155 during the middle session, leaving themselves an improbable target of 271 for victory.

Rory Burns and fellow opener Zak Crawley got the tourists off to a rousing start but in the last over before tea, Burns tried to leave a ball from Green, only to chop it on, falling for 26 with the score on 68.

Root has endured a difficult series after some bright starts, but there was nothing he could do when a Boland delivery barely bounced, shooting through and crashing into the bottom of off-stump.

All Root could do was stand there and shake his head with a wry smile before trudging off, bringing debutant Sam Billings to the crease.

But he didn't last long before he meekly chipped Boland to mid-off where Cummins took a simple catch.

The wickets continued to tumble after that with no-one offering any resistance and it was no surprise when Australia wrapped up the win 40 minutes before stumps.

Earlier, English paceman Mark Wood took career-best figures of 6-37 in an impressive display of hostile fast bowling to at least give his side some hope of winning their first match of the tour.

Carey, who top scored with 49, and allrounder Green tried to rebuild the innings and took the score to 112 before Stuart Broad was reintroduced into the attack with immediate effect, trapping Green lbw for 23.

Wood then claimed his fifth wicket when Starc was caught at short leg by Ollie Pope.

There was more drama next ball when a Wood yorker crashed into Cummins' foot and he was given out lbw, but on review the ball was missing off stump.

Carey didn't last long after the lunch break, playing a rash shot and edging to Billings. Four runs later, Wood finished Australia off when he clean bowled Cummins.