England crushed Australia by an innings and 71 runs after a spectacular collapse early on the final day in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval.
The tourists ran through the Australians after snaring the important wicket of Mike Hussey with spinner Graeme Swann finishing with five for 91. It was England’s first Test victory in Adelaide since 1995 and their first innings-triumph in Australia since Mike Gatting’s team won in Melbourne on the way to winning the Ashes almost 24 years ago.
Australia now must win two of the remaining three Tests to overhaul England and win back the Ashes they lost last year, while England are in line to win an Ashes series in Australia for the first time since 1986.
“We never gave them a look in the game and we’re very pleased about what we’ve done,” said captain Andrew Strauss.”We’ve got some great momentum in the series and we’ve got to keep it going.”
England victory exorcising demons
England thoroughly deserved their comprehensive victory after bowling out Australia for 245 on Friday’s first day and replying with a massive 620 for five declared, to hold a 375-run innings lead.
It also helped salve the bitter memories of England’s collapse to lose the corresponding Adelaide Test by six wickets four years after amassing 551 for six declared batting first.
“We really need to enjoy this and savour this victory, because it was a special victory for us, in some ways it exorcised some of the demons from four years ago here.” added Strauss.
Australia completed a wretched performance as they lost their remaining six wickets an hour before lunch in the extended morning session.
“No doubt it’s a bad loss for us, there’s no hiding that fact, an innings and 70-odd runs having won the toss on a good Adelaide wicket. It probably says it all,” said captain Ricky Ponting.
“I think they out-batted us, out-bowled us and out-fielded us during the entire game.”
Meanwhile, the first two days of next week’s third Ashes Test in Perth are sell-outs, organisers of the series announced. Officials said a capacity crowd of up to 24,000 is expected at the WACA Ground on December 16 and 17 for the third Ashes Test.
Broad, Katich out of the Ashes
England’s win came with news that paceman Stuart Broad had been ruled out for the rest of the Ashes series with torn abdominal muscles.
Broad is expected to leave for home this week to begin his recovery process ahead of next February’s World Cup.
Australia are contemplating changes for the third Perth Test and will definitely be without opener Simon Katich, who is out for the rest of the series with a torn Achilles tendon.
England captain Andrew Strauss
“We never gave them a look in the game, and we’re very pleased. We’ve got some great momentum in the series and we’ve got to keep it going.”
England batsman Kevin Pietersen
“The best feeling is walking into the dressing room having won this Test match. Four years ago was a very horrible dressing room to walk into.”
England bowler Stuart Broad
“Playing for England in Ashes in Australia has been something I’ve dreamt of for a long time so to have that cut short by injury is devastating.”
Australia opener Simon Katich
“Three years ago I was told I wasn’t going to play again. All I know is that I’ll do everything I can to make sure I can get it right. I’m confident I will.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2010.
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