The WACA bows out of the Ashes, making it a memorable game for Australia. They have looked professional and ruthless all throughout. About Australia it is often said - you give them an inch and they grab a mile. England were guilty of doing just that in this series. They have been in dominant positions on more than one occasion, just to give it all away in a platter to the hosts. They have done so with the urn as well. Although the Ashes is won, the series is yet to be completed. Root and his men will look to come out with refreshed vigor at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. That game begins on Boxing Day - 26th of December, 2017 at 1030 local time (2330 GMT the previous day). Will it be 3-0, 4-0 or 3-1 after the game? We'll love to have your company to find out just that. Till then, goodbye! Take care!
STEVEN SMITH, the Australian captain, is also the Man Of The Match. He states that he would be happy to have conceded this player of the game trophy to Hazlewood as he doesn't really care about personal awards. He feels good to get his highest Test score in the Ashes and put that stand with Mitchell Marsh. Commends the efforts of his batsmen to get a huge lead after the opposition scored over 400 runs. Is delighted to win his first Ashes as skipper. Lauds Lyon for his efforts in the three games, so far. Credits his side for winning the game in spite of not winning any of the tosses. States that they dreaded the unusually horrible weather at Perth but were hopeful of it clearing soon. Iterates that they believed that if they got the ball in right areas it would do the task. Praises the selectors for their bold moves in the series. Mentions that they will celebrate this win before thinking about the Boxing Day game. Ends saying that they aim for a 4-0 or a 5-0 win before stating how badly he wants to get back to his teammates and savor this win.
JOE ROOT, the English skipper, admits that it is a very difficult defeat to take but they have been outplayed in the series so far. About the surface today, he reckons that it wasn't fit to play when they arrived but later it dried out due to the sun and the winds around and so was good to play. Agrees that it isn't ideal to have a batting collapse. Lauds Bairstow and Malan for their stand. Opines that the knocks of the above pair and Vince are some of the positives that they would take from here. Ends stating that they are looking forward to preparing and playing well at the MCG.
Let's now see what the skippers have got to say...
To score a Test ton after 22 games and that too in an Ashes Test has been a surreal feeling for MITCHELL MARSH. Admits that it is a good feeling to play a part in getting his side ahead in the game. Says that they were pretty nervous today and now that the task has been accomplished, it feels great. Asserts that it has been pretty special to walk into a side that was winning and then regain the Ashes.
Shane Warne catches up with the Marsh brothers on the sidelines. SHAUN MARSH admits that winning an Ashes series is a very special feeling. He lauds all the players for the feat. About he having one run more than his brother Mitchell as the highest Test score, he says that they haven't spoken about that yet. States that the plan was to stay nice and calm and bowl well today. Credits the bowlers for the win. Ends saying that they can't ask anything more from them.
Staring down a deficit of 259 runs, England's second innings didn't get off to a good start either. They lost Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman and Joe Root cheaply, and then Mitchell Starc produced the 'ball of the season' to dismiss James Vince, who before getting out looked in fluent touch. The final day was a rain-marred one. England would have hoped for it to come down and save them but that was not meant to be. It did wash out the entire first session but then eased out soon after the lunch break. The Aussie bowlers emerged out with a spring in their strides and led by Hazlewood's fifer, they snapped the remaining 6 wickets in a little less than three hours. It was only Dawid Malan who provided some resistance towards the end as the rest caved in.
The action didn't end there! In reply, although Australia got off to a decent start, they soon found themselves in a spot of bother. But as we have seen for the umpteenth time in the recent past, Steven Smith stepped up to the occasion and stroked a superlative double ton to push the English team in a corner. His 301-run stand with Mitchell Marsh was the talk of the town on day 3 as they made a complete mockery of the opposition's bowling attack. The junior Marsh in his return game proved his mettle with the bat and entertained his home crowd with a scintillating century.
This was a Test match with plenty of records, batting records to be specific. England elected to bat on the first morning and found themselves in a spot of bother. But then the magnificent record 237-run stand for the fifth wicket between Jonny Bairstow (119) and Dawid Malan(140) bailed them out. Just when they were marching towards a big first innings total, the Australian bowlers made a resounding comeback to force a collapse. It was a complete disintegration of the English lower middle order as they lost their last 6 wickets for only 35 runs. A moment they will rue the most! Mitchell Starc was the wrecker-in-chief with a four-fer to his name, which involved some fiery short-ball spells.
What a game of Test cricket we have witnessed! This historic venue is surely signing off in style. It has withstood the moment of Australia regaining the Ashes in its final game of this historic series.
The urn returns to Australia! The home team is over the moon and the players are delighted. The crowd at the WACA has gone bonkers. A deafening applause going all around. High-fives, hugs, handshakes, smiling faces, hang on where is Steven Smith running? Oh, the skipper wants the ball. He takes it from one of the umpires and quietly hands it over to Josh Hazlewood with a hug. Special feeling for each and every individual out there, supporting Australia.
Pat Cummins to Chris Woakes
OUT! That's it! AUSTRALIA REGAIN THE ASHES! The plan to lure Woakes (well even if not directly) has worked. The field was in and Cummins banged it short just outside off. Woakes did the unwise choice of looking to take easy runs with a ramp over the keeper's head. All he manages is a nick to Paine who doesn't miss many. The hosts are elated and why not. They win this Test by an innings and 41 runs.
The field comes in again to keep Woakes on strike.
Back of a length just outside off, Woakes goes back and guides it to gully.
Fuller ball outside off, this one almost sneaks through. Chris hangs back and presents a straight bat and the ball hits him very low on the bat.
This is aimed at the off pole on a length, stayed a bit low. Woakes is solid in defense.
Full ball angled in around middle and leg, Woakes plays it with a straight bat through wide mid on but refuses to take a run.
Mitchell Starc to James Anderson
Yorker outside off, Anderson keeps it out towards gully. Huge cheers eclipse the WACA, the majority would be the Barmy Army, I'm sure.
Anderson lives another ball! This is just outside off on a length, Jimmy stays put in the crease and defends it to the off side.
Mitchell Starc to Chris Woakes
Length ball angling in, Woakes hops and tucks it through backward square leg for a single.