Perth:Australia wasted no time in levelling the Ashes series with a crushing 267-run victory at the WACA as Ryan Harris tore out the remaining resistance with a Test-best 6 for 47 to humble England. He finished off the visitors in a hurry as they were blown away in 10 overs on the fourth morning to set up a potentially thrilling conclusion to this series over the Christmas and New Year period.
Harris collected the rewards that eluded him in Adelaide as he finished with nine in the match, while Mitchell Johnson claimed the other wicket to fall as he, too, picked up nine. Johnson's revival in this match reflects Australia's upward curve, leaving England with much to ponder before the MCG Test starts on Boxing Day.
This was Australia's first Test victory in six matches since beating Pakistan at Lord's. It gave Ricky Ponting, who didn't take the field due to a broken little finger, the perfect 36th birthday present and will ease the pressure on him for the time being although he faces a race to be fit for Melbourne.
James Anderson was the first to depart when he played back to Harris and lost his off stump and will have left with Australian chirping ringing in his years. Ian Bell and Matt Prior were England's last chance of extending the context, but after a few more elegant cover drives Bell tried to work a straight ball through the leg side and was trapped straight in front. He asked for a review, but it was a hollow gesture.
Two deliveries later Harris had his five when Prior could only fend the ball towards gully where Michael Hussey, another who has enjoyed an outstanding Test, dived to his right to hold a sharp chance. The roars of the Australians, both the players and supporters, were deafening as the momentum of this series continued to swing towards the hosts in dramatic fashion.
Graeme Swann predictably had a swing but it didn't last long when he inside-edged a drive at Johnson and the final wicket went to Harris when Steven Finn fended to third slip. It was a clinical conclusion, a reminder of how Australia used to finish off Test matches and they were unrecognisable from the Test thrashed in Adelaide.
From being 5 for 69 on the first day this has been one of finest Test turnarounds in recent times and they'll take a huge surge of confidence into the next clash. However, both teams will remember that a similar momentum-shift occurred in 2009 when Australia won at Headingley before England secured the Ashes at The Oval. Despite the margin of victory in this, and the previous match, these two teams are closely matched and the series could turn into a classic.