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Ashes 2013: Australia collapse to series defeat

Series won: Stuart Broad (R) celebrates after taking the last wicket of Peter Siddle.

Series won: Stuart Broad (R) celebrates after taking the last wicket of Peter Siddle. Photo: AFP

Australia had already conceded the Ashes but a humiliating batting collapse at Durham has rubbed salt into their wounds and handed England a 3-0 lead in the series with a match to play.

Well placed in their pursuit of 299 to win the fourth Test at 0-109, and then 2-168, Michael Clarke's men lost 8-56 as England's Stuart Broad (6-50), with his second five-wicket haul giving him 11 for the match, left their aspirations in tatters.

Positive: David Warner gave Australia some hope.

Positive: David Warner gave Australia some hope. Photo: Reuters

In fading light on the fourth day England rolled Australia for 224 and completed a 74-run win, officially triumphing in the series when Peter Siddle drove Broad into the hands of James Anderson at mid-off.

A shattered Australia had ambitions of rendering England's Ashes retention more hollow by fighting back to leave the campaign level after the fifth and final Test at the Oval, starting next week.

But looking like they were coasting in the afternoon, they folded. The spirit shown for most of this match and the last - when they were cruelled by rain - will be little consolation after losing for the seventh time in the past eight matches. Without a Test win since January, Australia will drop to fifth in the world rankings behind Pakistan unless they prevail at the Oval.

Cleaned up: Michael Clarke is bowled.

Cleaned up: Michael Clarke is bowled. Photo: Reuters

"It’s extremely disappointing – I guess I know now what it feels like to lose an Ashes series as a captain. A lot of things are hard to swallow at the moment," said Clarke, who was eager to credit Broad.

"Chasing 300 in the last innings of a Test match is always going to be difficult, there is no doubt about that. I don’t think today was about forgetting how to win, I just think a good bowler got his back up and got momentum around with it and we couldn’t stop him."

After Ryan Harris' career-best 7-117 had finished off England's second innings for 330, Australia made the ideal start to their chase with a purposeful 109-run opening stand between David Warner (71) and Chris Rogers (49), scored at upwards of four runs an over.

Shane Watson looks unimpressed with umpire Aleem Dar after being given out lbw.

Shane Watson looks unimpressed with umpire Aleem Dar after being given out lbw. Photo: Stu Forster

But when Warner exited at 5.44pm local time, the wheels came off, with five wickets falling in a dramatic 54 minutes.

At 6.10pm, Clarke (21) was the victim of unplayable ball from Broad that seamed off the pitch and tore into the top of his off stump, leaving the Australian captain as helpless as he was against that Anderson beauty at Trent Bridge.

“At the end of the day Spartan give me a cricket bat and I’ve got to use it.  It was a good ball but the great batsmen find ways to keep those out."
Bowled: Nathan Lyon's off stump is knocked out of the ground.

Bowled: Nathan Lyon's off stump is knocked out of the ground. Photo: Getty Images

At 6.22pm Steve Smith (2) was the next to go, dragging the ball onto his stumps as he tried to hook Broad.

At 6.29pm Shane Watson (2), batting with a groin strain suffered while bowling, joined the procession, given out lbw to Tim Bresnan and unable to have Tony Hill's decision overturned, with third official Marais Erasmus sending back an "umpire's call" notification via the DRS.

At 6.39pm, Brad Haddin (4) departed in the same fashion to the rampaging Broad.

England batsman James Anderson is caught by keeper Brad Haddin as Shane Watson celebrates. Click for more photos

Ashes Fourth Test - Day 4

The fourth day of the fourth Ashes series cricket match at the Riverside cricket ground, Chester-le-Street, England. Follow us at twitter.com/photosSMH Photo: Getty

Both Watson and Haddin looked unimpressed with the decisions but the DRS came back with umpire's call on both occasions.

Their unsuccessful objections meant that Harris (11) had no choice but to walk when Broad then had him triggered lbw. A glance at the replay showed it would it would have done him no good anyway.

Broad's 10th for the match arrived when he dislodged the leg stump of Nathan Lyon (8) and with light deteriorating at the Riverside, the umpires allowed play to be extended for 30 minutes, as long as only spin was bowled.

Steve Smith plays on to the stumps.

Steve Smith plays on to the stumps. Photo: Reuters

The sun reappeared soon after, though, and it was Broad who struck yet again to remove Siddle for 23 and complete Australia's gloom.

"I can’t fault the belief in the guys or their will to try and win. Everybody’s attitude is brilliant – I can’t fault that I want our batters to get more runs," Clarke said. "I’d like our batting to be stronger.  Our bowlers are doing a fantastic job – I don’t think we are making enough runs, it’s as simple as that.

"We are sometimes getting closer and not getting over the line.  It doesn’t put more pressure on me, though – I've got to score more runs. I am part of the batting unit – I am not different to any other batter in that order. My job is first and foremost to score runs - and I only made 25 in this Test and that’s unacceptable."

Warner's exit was the catalyst for the capitulation but he could not be faulted for his contribution.

The 180 he blazed in Perth against India 19 months ago remains his most jaw-dropping Test outing, but the most character-revealing was a few weeks earlier when he carried his bat obstinately and against his instincts, almost saving Australia against New Zealand in Hobart.

His innings here was a blend of the aforementioned two, heaping the pressure on England's bowlers with his scoring rate but not going berserk. Warner being Warner, he could not help but entirely resist playing with fire, prompting a few gasps when he thumped spinner Graeme Swann high and over the extra-cover rope for six when on 30.

But aggression is what he trades in - for good and bad, of course, in this English summer - and he fortunately got a hold of the ball, clearing what is a long boundary. Elsewhere, Warner opted for more control, shifting onto the back foot and punching through point and the covers repeatedly when room was offered or when he could create it for himself.

It took a great ball, angling across him, from the under-appreciated Bresnan to entice a nick to Matt Prior and remove Warner late in the afternoon. After being booed at Old Trafford a week ago, the standing ovation he received from the members at Durham was instructive.

Rogers, who on 14 was in separate incidents dropped and given out caught behind before having the dismissal overturned on review, had earlier fallen just short of following up his first-innings century with a fourth 50 of the series.

His partnership with Warner laid the foundation Australia required but on a wicket where one breakthrough always threatened another they had barely taken off their pads when that foundation was crushed emphatically.

Usman Khawaja lasted only until 21 before being transfixed by Swann. When Clarke, Smith, Watson and then Haddin followed in a hurry, Australia were on their knees. From that point there, was no way back.

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180 comments

  • Watson has to go. No more excuses!

    Commenter
    barnabusrex
    Location
    Sdney
    Date and time
    August 13, 2013, 6:46AM
    • Yeah right. If he has to go, so does Clarke, and half the remaining team! Looks like a big overhaul is coming.

      Commenter
      Liberator
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 13, 2013, 7:52AM
    • Watson........goooooooooooooonnnnne.

      Commenter
      Warners brother
      Location
      Housing commission Kenso
      Date and time
      August 13, 2013, 8:13AM
    • There won't be an "overhaul" because the team is selected along the lines of the public service philosophy of reward for length of service, why else would Brad Haddin be getting a game instead of the much more talented Tim Paine?

      The overhaul that is needed is for Cricket Australia to decide which form of cricket is the most important and then under pin that with a strong domestic competition but so far James Sutherland seems incapable of making any strategic decision.

      Commenter
      Captain Grumpy
      Location
      Kingsvile
      Date and time
      August 13, 2013, 8:19AM
    • In a nutshell - England's number 5: Bell, Australia's number 5: Smith. Smith is a bowling all-rounder that should be batting at 7 or 8. If he's not going to bowl 20 overs then he should not be in the team. The poms hate playing leg-spin, especially Bell, Clarke's refusal to bowl Smith was the difference between winning and losing the series. Also, forcing a kid to bat at number 3 is disgraceful as is not playing Wade.

      Commenter
      Billy
      Date and time
      August 13, 2013, 8:38AM
    • Agreed with Billy. I cannot fathom why the Sydney press continue to let Smith and Haddin off the hook. Haddin RARELY makes a run when the times are tough. Smith is just not good enough. The problem is, even at 0-100 I was still on the edge of my seat expecting an all too familiar collapse. Why? Because our batting line up has no spine. None. Siddle has more fighting spirit with the bat than our numbers 3 through to 7. I'd ask the batsmen to have a good, long, hard look at themselves in the mirror, however it is my belief they do far too much of that already.

      Commenter
      Gilly
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 13, 2013, 8:57AM
    • Watson... did he score 70 runs in the test and take a vital wicket? Which game were you watching? Try Clarke and Khawaja... they didn't score what Watson did between them!!

      Commenter
      Really!!
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 13, 2013, 9:20AM
    • The comments from some Australian fans are more of an embarrassment than anything the players produce. Sign of the ( so called enlightened) times I am afraid.

      Commenter
      AussieOpener
      Date and time
      August 13, 2013, 9:30AM
    • Erm. Billy. Clarkes refusal to bowl smith was the difference between winning and losing the series?

      Commenter
      Julian
      Location
      Manly
      Date and time
      August 13, 2013, 10:14AM
    • Aussies need to drop the knee jerk reaction. Watson is your third highest run scorer over this series. You dropped Hughes who at the time was your second highest scorer in the series, and now have Kwhaja who's averaging 19 having also batted on a belter of a wicket at old trafford. And Kwhajas test average is only 25 too. He's more an 8 than a 3.

      Commenter
      nick
      Date and time
      August 13, 2013, 10:15AM

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