Ashes: Australia thrash feeble England to retain Ashes at Melbourne


Australia’s Scott Boland (left) finished with figures of 6-7 as England crumbled in Melbourne
Third Ashes Test, Melbourne (day three of five)
England 185 Root 50; Cummins 3-36, Lyon 3-36 & 68 Boland 6-7, Starc 3-29
Australia 267 Harris 76, Warner 38; Anderson 4-33
Australia win by an innings and 14 runs; lead series 3-0
Scorecard

England surrendered the Ashes on the morning of the third day of the third Test as Australia crushed them by an innings and 14 runs to take an unassailable 3-0 series lead.

Resuming on 31-4, England were meekly dismissed for just 68 inside 81 minutes, with debutant Scott Boland taking an astonishing 6-7.

Their final four wickets fell in the space of 16 balls as England offered the weakest of resistance in front of a jubilant home crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The result means Australia have retained the Ashes after just 12 days of cricket and will be eyeing a 5-0 series win.

The fourth Test will begin in Sydney on 4 January.

Same old for England

Even by the low standards England have shown on this tour, this was an abysmal performance.

After being blown away on the evening of the second day, England were always facing a tough task even to make Australia bat again. But no-one could have seen this capitulation coming.

The match was done before the lunch break, England’s batters undone the night before by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins’ pace before succumbing to the 32-year-old Boland’s relentless accuracy.

England arrived in Australia short of match practice but that is no excuse. They, simply, have not been good enough with the bat.

Root, as he has done all year, has carried England. During the second innings at Melbourne, he went past 1,700 Test runs for the calendar year. England’s next best, Rory Burns, has managed 530 in the same period. Relying on one man, who is also captain, was never going to be enough.

England made four changes for Melbourne and still put in their worst batting performance of the series. Their bowling on the second day was the one bright point, with the indefatigable James Anderson and Mark Wood’s pace unsettling Australia.

However, the same problems that have plagued England with the bat remain. And there seems to be no solution.

More to follow.