Australia seal 4-0 triumph as feeble England collapse again

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Ashes - Second Test - Australia v England - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia - December 18, 2021 Australia's Cameron Green REUTERS/Morgan Sette

(Reuters) – Cameron Green led the way as Australia rode roughshod over England’s hopes of an Ashes victory by skittling the tourists for 124 in Hobart on Sunday evening to clinch the fifth test by 146 runs and seal a 4-0 series triumph.

In the ascendant for the first time in the five matches when they were 68 without loss chasing 271 towards the end of the second session, the touring team lost 10 wickets for 78 runs to slump to a 13th defeat in their last 15 tests in Australia.

“It’s pretty crazy, to be at the end of a five-test series with so many positives, winning 4-0, it’s just huge, really pumped,” Australia captain Pat Cummins said.

England have looked powerless against Australian pace throughout the series and no more so than when facing the pink ball under the lights of Bellerive Oval.

Green started the rout when he dismissed Rory Burns for 26 to break the opening partnership and bring up tea, returning after the break to remove Dawid Malan for 10 in similar style with the batsman chopping on.

Zak Crawley, the other England opener, was the 22-year-old’s third victim, caught behind for 36, and when Ben Stokes holed out for five to Nathan Lyon at deep square leg off Mitchell Starc, England had lost four wickets for 24 runs.

Joe Root got his side over the hundred mark but fell for 11 when a Scott Boland delivery skidded low along the surface and into his off stump, leaving the England captain destined to head home still without a test century in Australia.

“It’s been a really tough tour for us, we’ve played good cricket in parts but we just haven’t managed to string a whole game together,” Root said.

“It’s something that we have to learn as a group, we have to learn from these experiences and not make the same mistakes going forward.

“Sometimes you’ve got hold your hands up and respect that a team outplays you.”

Boland, in only his third test, and Cummins shared the next five wickets as England appeared to give up on any hope of even extending the contest into a fourth day.

Earlier, standout England bowler Mark Wood had made the most of seaming conditions for a career best 6-37 to help bowl out the hosts for 155 early in the second session.

The hosts won the tests in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne to retain the urn, while the fourth match in Sydney was drawn after England batted out the final day.

Travis Head was named Man of the Match in Hobart and Man of the Series after scoring two centuries, including 101 in the first innings of the fifth test, and 357 runs, despite missing the Sydney match after contracting COVID-19.

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