Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 5th day December 7, 2010

Swann bowls England to innings victory


England 5 for 620 dec beat Australia 245 and 304 (Clarke 80, Watson 57, Hussey 52, Swann 5-91) by an innings and 71 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

England have one hand on the Ashes after Graeme Swann bowled them to victory with a five-wicket haul in Adelaide, where neither rain nor the lower order could save Australia on the fifth morning. The significance of the win cannot be underestimated, as it gives England a 1-0 advantage heading in to the third Test in Perth, which starts in a week and a half.

The triumph came when Swann turned a ball through the gate to bowl Peter Siddle, completing his five-for and confirming the margin of an innings and 71 runs. It was a devastating morning for Australia, who began the day hopeful that they could survive for a draw with six wickets in hand, but it took England less than 90 minutes to skittle the remaining Australians.

Last time England took a series lead in Australia, it was 1986-87, and they did not give it away. And as the holders of the urn, Andrew Strauss and his men will retain the Ashes unless Australia can win at least two of the remaining three Tests, a monumental task given that they have now gone five Tests without tasting victory, stretching back to the series against Pakistan in England.

There will be changes for both teams at the WACA, with England forced to look to Chris Tremlett or Tim Bresnan, due to a series-ending abdominal injury to Stuart Broad. Australia will have to find a new opener as Simon Katich's Achilles tendon problem has ruled him out of the rest of the series, while Xavier Doherty and Marcus North will also face a nervous wait to see if they keep their places.

North could have saved his position by salvaging a draw for Australia on the final day, but he was one of the wickets to fall cheaply as England wrapped up the contest before lunch. The visitors knew a thunderstorm was expected later in the afternoon, and after they made the initial breakthrough by getting rid of the established Michael Hussey for 52, they tightened the noose on Australia's lower order.

Hussey and North resumed at 4 for 238 after the loss of Michael Clarke from the last ball of play on Monday, and it took only six overs for England to get a sniff of victory. Hussey was dropped by Matt Prior off the bowling of Swann but didn't survive a second chance when he top-edged a pull off Steven Finn and was comfortably taken at midwicket by James Anderson.

There was a roar from Anderson as soon as he had the ball safely in his hands, knowing that the in-form Hussey was the big breakthrough England required. Brad Haddin followed soon afterwards for 12 when he edged behind off Anderson, and England were in to Australia's long tail, with North carrying the home team's slim hopes at the other end.

Anderson quickly found himself on a hat-trick when Ryan Harris made unwanted history by completing a king pair, leaving a ball that swung back in and struck him in line with the stumps. Out of desperation more than belief, Harris asked for a review, but there was no way he was going to be saved, and neither were Australia.

There was no hat-trick for Anderson when he began his next over but he didn't really mind, as in the meantime Swann had removed North, the last of Australia's specialist batsmen, for 22. This time the review system did overturn a decision; Tony Hill gave North not out as he came forward with bat and pad close together, Swann wanted a referral, and the replays showed it was pad first, hitting the stumps, and a potentially career-busting blow for North.

Swann bowled outstandingly on the final day, and deserved his 5 for 91. In the absence of Broad for much of the innings, he sent down 41.1 overs, and collected the final two wickets when he sneaked the ball under the bat of Doherty for 5 and then finished off Siddle.

And it all happened under the most perfect, sunny skies. If Australia were hoping for storms, their prayers were not answered. In truth, they never recovered from the hurricane that struck on the first morning when they were 3 for 2. And now, England need only one more victory to retain the Ashes.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on December 9, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    tommyfisk, that's actually a non sequitur. Had you said 'if you look at the history of cricket, england are the only team australia has ever played in the ashes', that would have been logically coherent, but you didn't and neither did I. If you're going to nitpick, at least get it right.

  • Tom on December 8, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    Cyniket, spookily enough, if you look at ashes history, you may find that England are the only team Australia have ever played.

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    I want England To defeat Australia by 4-0

  • Michael on December 8, 2010, 14:14 GMT

    I weep not for Australia. May it happen again and again,very soon.

  • amar on December 8, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    This loss by Australia again proves 2 age old adages- a captain is as good as the team and bowlers win you the matches. Ponting was hailed as a great captain when he had at his disposal great bolwers like McGrath, Warne, Lee et al. No sooner these greats have retired, it affected Australia. When England scores 620/ 5 and bundles australia cheaply twice on the same pitch, it nothing but reflects the quality of the attack. Conditions too did not change too much for the 2 teams. So, in a nutshell, a captain can influence an outcome of the match only so much as regards to a hunch, a flash of inspired bowling change or igniting a spark somewhere in the players mind to enable them perform way above their level for small duration.

  • Martin on December 8, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    @ Raj_Muchimilli ;" I would bet on Ponting giving the English attack a lesson or two in the next test".... really? I would bet on him NOT doing that. Punter Ponting has had it - he finished. He has been lucky to lead some of the greatest players the world has ever seen. But his luck has run out. One or two other contributors have mentioned "Lucky" England. Really? If an Innings and 70 is lucky then I wonder what a really comprehensive skillful dominating performance might look like. Finally - well done to you Aus fans; some of you have come on here and eaten pie made with berries from the humble tree. Goodonyer! There is TOTAL respect from English fans like me who have lived in and played the game in Aus - to all Australian cricket followers. We share the passion of this great contest. After so long - it's now Englands turn. Well to done to you Aus fans accepting this defeat on this forum and giving the England team the due credit.

  • Mick on December 8, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    As painful as this has been to watch as an Australian fan all credit goes to England. They've come with a plan and prepared well. Even more surprising for an English touring team they have executed with precision. I hope against hope Australia can find something and strike back in the series but, wow, it would take an astonishing turnaround. We are paying for conservative selection over the past two years and sooner or later tough decisions will have to be made. If only some of the young players in the country could stand up.

  • Mark on December 8, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    soulja82, if you look at the ashes history, you should notice that england are the one team that we can't afford to be complacent against. england and the west indies are the only teams that have won multiple series in australia, and england are better at the moment. I feel complacency has led us to this point and i'm a little worried that we might not get the ashes back for a while.

  • S.shah on December 8, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    @sajidimrankhan Totally agree with you. With Phil Hughes in the team the momentum will shift in Australia's favour.This overrated english team will be shown its true place.@popcorn u are 100% correct aus will comeback and make enlgand bite the dust. 2-1 to the ozzies.

  • Shaf on December 8, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    Australia will pull it together for the next test in Perth. Australians have great players who aren't in the best form at the moment. The humiliating loss in Adelaide will spur them to play better because they all take great pride in the baggy green and their place in the national cricket side.

    Australia have humiliated England for the greatest part of the 128 years of the Ashes and I'm certain we will return to the natural order of things soon enough :)

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