Australia regain Ashes

Published: Wednesday | December 18, 2013 Comments 0
Australian players celebrate after winning their Ashes cricket Test match over England yesterday in Perth, Australia. - AP
Australian players celebrate after winning their Ashes cricket Test match over England yesterday in Perth, Australia. - AP

PERTH, Australia (AP):

In a fitting finish to Australia regaining the Ashes, it was Mitchell Johnson, steaming in with the wind at his back, who took the wicket which ended England's three-series hold on the urn.

Johnson wasn't considered to be in good enough form for the last Ashes tour, when England completed a 3-0 win at home in August.

Back on Australian soil, he terrorised the England batsmen, taking 23 wickets to help Australia secure their most coveted prize with two matches to spare. After a barren stretch of nine Tests without a win, including seven defeats in India and England, Michael Clarke's Australians have now won three back-to-back and are starting to talk about a 5-0 sweep.

"We got 'em back, so it's a fantastic feeling," Clarke said of the Ashes after his side completed a 150-run win in Perth yesterday. That was the smallest winning margin in three comprehensive wins.

"Playing Test cricket against England and winning the Ashes. That's always been the pinnacle for Australian cricketers."

fiery spells

Australia came to the WACA ground needing just one win from the last three Tests to secure the Ashes for the first time since their 5-0 series sweep in 2006-07. Johnson, with some fiery spells, was Man of the Match in the 381-run win in Brisbane and the 218-run victory in Adelaide.

The batsmen came to the fore in Perth, where Steve Smith's 111 and Brad Haddin's fourth consecutive half century revived Australia's first innings, and where David Warner (112) and Shane Watson (103) added hundreds in the second.

Australia had seven centuries in the series before England posted one - from two-test all-rounder Ben Stokes when the game was already slipping away.

Stokes resumed yesterday on 72, with England at 251-5, and scored a defiant 120 before getting an under-edge to an attempted sweep off Nathan Lyon and was well caught behind by Haddin. His dismissal just after lunch triggered the tailend collapse and England were all out for 353 chasing an improbable 504 for victory.

Johnson took the last wicket, No. 11 Jimmy Anderson, to finish with 4-78 for the innings. Lyon returned 3-70, the pair wrapping up the five wickets Australia needed on the last day.

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