Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day December 19, 2010

Harris takes six to level Ashes series


Australia 268 (Johnson 62, Hussey 61) and 309 (Hussey 116, Watson 95, Tremlett 5-87) beat England 187 (Bell 53, Strauss 52, Johnson 6-38) and 123 (Harris 6-47) by 267 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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, lost his off stump and will have left with Australian chirping ringing in his ears. 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.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Usman on December 21, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    theirs a twist in support now since the oziess beat england !!!!!

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    wow wow what come back by aussies...As a big english fan i'm expecting boxing day punch to aussies

  • Les on December 20, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    The reason why the POMS were thrashed has nothing to do with Broad's absence. Andy Flower allowed the WAGs to join the team just before the Perth Test. I've emailed him to ask if he has any more bright ideas.....

  • Paul on December 20, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    To all the Michael Clarke back stabbers out there i say you all are quick to point the finger and criticize our most consistent batsman of the last 18 months before this series. Everyone has a form slump and people are so quick to forget that he was no.1 in the world for a period, has made over 1000 calendar year runs the last 2 years before this one and speaking of this year, made 2 scores of 160 plus in Jan. 2 weeks ago, everyone was relying on him to save Australia from defeat in Adelaide when he made 80 and got out to something that could have happened to anyone. I will admit, some of his shots lately have been ordinary but he'll be's funny how quick people forget not so long ago when ponting and hussey couldn't get a run to save themselves, clarke was the middle order rock who made hundreds at home against south africa and also at lords, all on the big stage. All the best players have slumps...a few bad tests and his his head is on the block suddenly????? go figure...

  • Jackie on December 20, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    I reitterate what I said in a previous comment - Mitchell Johnson is the one guy you cannot leave out of this Aussie side.Some people wanted to drop him to sheffield shield and look now - he single handedly picked Aus up from the dump in the 1st inns with a top score 62 and a 6for.Siddle,Harris,Smith and Hilfy were nowhere and I hope CA now realise the importance of having guys in the side that has done it before.Then,Aus can also thank heavens that Mike Hussey is in this side.This guy is a machine...but he is bound to fail at some time and unless someone else can pull off a ton Aus will lose that test.On the flip side,it was disappointing to see that England didnt really pitch for this game?Fellas,you cant only pitch when you are in the driving seat - sometimes you need to work twice as hard (e.g. the 1st test) to give yourself a chance.Now Aus is on the frontfoot - which is dangerous.Step up in the next test..or you can kiss the urn goodbye!The remaining 2 tests will be thrillers!

  • Dru on December 20, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    What a show by a team that was down and all but out. Eng were 70/0 to Aus 268 and to beaten from there by 268 cut deep in to Eng confidence I reckon. Sure they had a great start to the series but this was kick in the guts from no where and they will be weary of the Aussies. The series after all level and with each having convincing wins and Eng having to draw the first test. I must say I had written off the Aus and this really was an awesome comeback. The question is whcih team can take WACA form/loss of form and confidence/loss of confidence to the MCG.l

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2010, 1:24 GMT

    yes! just as i predicted australia crushed england and this is only the begining....aussie to the world

  • Mark on December 20, 2010, 0:19 GMT

    @ Digimont You are correct. But we are not basking in glory we are celebrating a test win which hasn't happened since the middle of the year. lol.

  • hayden on December 19, 2010, 22:49 GMT

    and just like that crickets back to normal again!!! i love it how the poms recon sydneys going to be a walk in the park because of swann. the city has had so much unseasonal rain lately and even last year, the pitch was so spicy that the pakistanis had us all out for 160 odd. simply, england shouldnt count on a 5th test turner! 1. its more likely to be a green top thanks to the weather and 2. like aus are going to produce a raging turner to help you guys take our ashes!!!! the poms are licked, they just dont realise it yet.

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    great work - hope aussies can continue & take back the ashes

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