Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 5th day December 17, 2013

How Australia regained the Ashes

ESPNcricinfo charts how Australia won back the urn in just 14 days

1st Test, the Gabba, November 21-25, 2013

1st day: Australia 8 for 273 (Haddin 78*, Johnson 64, Broad 5-65) v England

Stuart Broad responded to a campaign of vilification in resounding fashion, taking five wickets on the opening day as Australia lost their first six wickets for 132. But England could not finish Australia off as Brad Haddin, in his first redoubtable innings of many, and Mitchell Johnson fought back enterprisingly by the close.

2nd day: Australia 295 (Haddin 94, Johnson 64, Broad 6-81) and 65 for 0 lead England 136 (Carberry 40, Johnson 4-61) by 224 runs

England again performed inadequately in the first Test of an overseas series. In perfectly good batting conditions, Australia wrested a first-innings lead of 159 that must have been beyond their wildest dreams. Six England wickets fell after lunch for nine runs in a startling 58-ball phase as Australia, with Ryan Harris and Johnson to the fore, inspired a feverish response from the Brisbane crowd.

3rd day: England 136 and 2 for 24 (Cook 11*, Pietersen 3*) need another 537 runs to beat Australia 295 and 7 for 401 dec (Warner 124, Clarke 113, Haddin 53)

Domineering hundreds by Michael Clarke and David Warner, a declaration with an impregnable position swiftly achieved and two England wickets in the final hour: things could not have gone much better for Australia as they pressed for the victory that would put them 1-0 up in the Ashes series.

4th day: Australia 295 (Haddin 94, Johnson 64, Broad 6-81) and 7 for 401 dec (Warner 124, Clarke 113, Haddin 53) beat England 136 (Johnson 4-61, Harris 3-28) and 173 (Cook 65, Johnson 5-42) by 381 runs

Johnson, a fast bowler reborn, embodied Australia's supremacy as they pulled off an overwhelming 381-run win in the first Test. Johnson finished with nine for 103 in the match. Australia's attacking cricket came in defiance of a record of 10 Tests without a win. The sledging was uncompromising, too, with Australia's captain, Clarke, caught on stump mic telling James Anderson that Johnson would break his arm.

2nd Test, Adelaide, December 5-9, 2013

1st day: Australia 5 for 273 (Rogers 72, Bailey 53, Watson 51) v England

England responded to the dry nature of Adelaide's first drop-in pitch by selecting two spinners in Australia for the first time for 23 years. But Australia won an important toss and, on a hard-fought day, benefited from three England dropped catches in the final session to achieve solidity by the close.

2nd day: England 1 for 35 trail Australia 9 for 570 dec (Clarke 148, Haddin 118, Harris 55*, Broad 3-98) by 535 runs

Clarke continued his love affair with the Adelaide Oval with an unflustered century which with every graceful moment stated his intent to become the Australian captain who regained the Ashes. Alongside him, stood his vice-captain and senior professional, Haddin, another hundred to his name. It could not have looked much better for Australia.

3rd day: Australia 9 for 570 dec and 3 for 132 (Warner 83*) lead England 172 (Bell 72*, Johnson 7-40) by 530 runs

Johnson produced a blood-curdling display of world-class fast bowling to destroy England in the second Test . Johnson's sustained menace bore comparison with the great fast-bowling spells of the modern age as he took 5 for 16 in five overs immediately after lunch to leave England in a state of bewilderment.

4th day: England 172 and 6 for 247 (Root 87, Pietersen 53, Prior 31*, Broad 22*) need another 284 runs to beat Australia 9 for 570 dec and 3 for 132 dec

Joe Root led a stubborn rearguard for England as they were presented with a hopeless 501 for victory, missing out on what would have been a deserved Ashes hundred when Nathan Lyon dismissed him for 87. Alastair Cook's attempts to carry the fight against Johnson saw him out hooking for 0 as Australian newspaper headlines predicting a 5-0 whitewash looked ever more convincing.

5th day: Australia 9 for 570 dec (Clarke 148, Haddin 118, Broad 3-98) and 3 for 132 dec (Warner 83*) beat England 172 (Bell 72*, Carberry 60, Johnson 7-40) and 312 (Root 87, Prior 69, Siddle 4-57, Harris 3-54) by 218 runs

Australia needed only 11.4 overs to take a 2-0 lead in the Ashes series with three to play as they inflicted a 218-run defeat on England. Matt Prior's desperate hitting recovered a semblance of form as he passed fifty for the first time in 17 attempts. Johnson confirmed his moustache would remain for the rest of the series - here was a fast bowler with Mo-mentum if ever there was one.

3rd Test, Perth: December 13-17

1st day: Australia 6 for 326 (Smith 103*, Warner 60, Swann 2-71) v England

Everything continued to go right for Australia at the start of the Perth Test. Steven Smith, a gifted and fidgety young man raised on spin in New South Wales and until recently out of his depth on pitches as fast as the WACA Ground, secured his place in Australia's middle order for the foreseeable future with a composed hundred to keep the pressure on England.

2nd day: England 4 for 180 (Cook 72) trail Australia 385 (Smith 111, Warner 60, Broad 3-100) by 205 runs

Cook had been immovable in Australia three years earlier. He mustered all his efforts to regain that status as England sought to avoid a defeat that would hand the Ashes back to Australia. But, hard though he tried, Cook could not shake off Australia, making 72 on a day that produced some of the most compelling cricket of the series.

3rd day: Australia 385 and 3 for 235 (Warner 112, Rogers 54) lead England 251 (Siddle 3-36, Harris 3-48) by 369 runs

England's last realistic hopes of keeping the Ashes alive depended upon a strong batting display when the chips were down. What happened instead was the surrender of 6 for 61 to Harris, Johnson and Peter Siddle, a slide made worse by a Johnson toe-crusher that not only pinned Broad lbw but sent him to hospital, ruling him out of bowling for the rest of the game.

4th day: England 251 and 5 for 251 (Stokes 72*, Bell 60) require another 253 runs to beat Australia 385 and 6 for 369 (Watson 103)

Australia took their chance to kill England off and plundered 134 runs in just 17 overs, most of them from the brutal striking of Shane Watson, who made a century. It set up a declaration before lunch and a beautiful delivery from Harris castled Cook first ball of the England innings. Wickets fell regularly until Ian Bell and Ben Stokes finally came up with a partnership of some gumption.

5th day: Australia 385 (Smith 111, Warner 60, Haddin 55) and 6 for 369 dec (Warner 112, Watson, Rogers 54) beat England 251 (Cook 72) and 6 for 332 (Stokes 120, Bell 60, Johnson 4-78) by 150 runs

Five wickets were needed for Australia to regain the urn but they were held up by Stokes who continued to play a heartening innings and brought up a maiden Test century in just his second match. But when he fell after lunch to Lyon, Johnson fired out the lower order and on the 14th day of the series, the Ashes were won.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mabiu Neil on December 21, 2013, 14:26 GMT feels great when i see AUSTRALIA destroying opponents like this ASHES. Itz been so long last i've seen AUSTRALIA perform like this. My country is so far from AUSTRALIA but ever since i understand CRICKET i never missed a match of AUSTRALIA. It'z gud to see u guys performing ur best in the pit. :)

  • Mabiu Neil on December 21, 2013, 14:08 GMT feels great when i see AUSTRALIA destroying opponents like this ASHES. Itz been so long last i've seen AUSTRALIA perform like this. My country is so far from AUSTRALIA but ever since i understand CRICKET i never missed a match of AUSTRALIA. It'z gud to see u guys performing ur best in the pit. :)

  • Gary on December 19, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    If you were to choose a single team from both teams to play against South Africa next year - you would choose a team like this Warner, Cook, Bell, Clarke, Pietersen, Watson, Haddin, Johnson, Broad, Harris, Swann. 12th man Anderson (ignoring some dodgy recent form of a few players yes) Could that team beat South Africa next year ..... it would be close, but yes makes you realise the challenge awaiting Australia next year ...

  • carl on December 19, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    i dont think i've ever seen each of the eleven players contribute as the australians have this series, normally a couple of players are sort of expendable with averages that dont really matter, amazing considering that only one player has champion status, Lehmann, 'the peoples coach', simplicity, calmness and strength, let's continue to watch...

  • David on December 18, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    @Ravi Keelveedhi, just because England's batting has (arguably) improved over the three tests - from pathetic to mediocre! - doesn't mean they're going to start winning anytime soon. Remember that Australia declared all their 2nd innings. In other words, Aus could have made plenty more runs than they did. For the first time in history, one team has set an opposition over 500 to win in three consecutive tests. They could have set them over 600 instead - and no matter how much they improve, England will never chase down a target like that!

    You have to take 20 wickets AND have time to make the required runs in order to win. England currently can't do either.

  • Rajaram on December 18, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    The little URN is back! This is even more sweeter to savour than 2006-07, when we regained The Ashes after we lost The Ashes in 2005, because we had lost 3 successive Ashes series defeats to the Poms-2009, 2010-11, and 2013.The support staff deserve a lot of credit - Craig Mcdermott, Steve Rixon, Mike Young, Michael de Venuto, John Davison, Alex Konturis, the physios, Cricket Australia's CEO James Sutherland, and his Board of Directors, Pat Howard, the Selection Panel, and above all,"Boof" Darren Lehmann.This is the most complete Australian side I have seen in a long, long time.Captaincy, Batting, Bowling, Fielding and Wicket- Keeping. Mow them down, mates.Send the Poms packing with a 5 nil defeat.And I'm going to be there to watch you at the MCG and the SCG too.

  • Soy on December 18, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    What an absolute hiding.

    Anderson, bowling at 125km/h, has been absolutely useless. The only time his name has featured at all in this series is when George Bailey thumped his mediums for a world-record 28 in an over.

    Swann has been an outright joke, furthering the notion already held by informed parties that he was never more than a handy spinner. Watching Watson treat him with total disdain was a true sight to see.

    Swann is now 8 runs off a 30+ average with the ball, meaning England will have a bowling attack with 4 or 5 specialist bowlers (or all-rounders) in their starting XI with 30+ averages. And yet we are told they are world-class. Seriously, think about it.

    Lyon completely outbowled Swann for the 4th time in 5 tests (the only tests they've played side-by-side). Really ramming home Lyon's role/improvement and also Swann's serious reality check.

    England were never a great side, probably not even an outright good one, and now they are a very mediocre, weak side.

    Go Aus!

  • Grant on December 17, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    First Innings middle/lower order batting by Australia was the key.

    Without it the pressure would have been on the Aussie bowlers and not on the English bats, and on the Aussie bats in the 2nd innings.

    1st Test: 195 run partnership with the tail, last man out. 2nd Test: 200 run partnership with Clarke. 3rd Test: 123 run partnership with Smith. Would Clarke & Smith made centuries without Haddin?

    That's why Haddin should be favourite, at this stage, for Man of the Series.

  • Anup on December 17, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    1st Test, the Gabba, November 21-24, 2013 3rd Test, Perth: December 13-17, 2013 5th day: Australia 385 (Smith 111, Warner 60, Haddin 55) and 6 for 369 dec (Warner 112, Watson, Rogers 54) beat England 251 (Cook 72) and 353 (Stokes 120, Bell 60, Johnson 4-78) by 150 runs

  • Gopalakrishna on December 17, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    This is not any England's redemption sort of thing because they scored 350 runs in this innings. Remember their target was 500 odd runs to which Clarke had freedom to set attacking fields and while you are attacking in test cricket you may also end up leaking runs. In fact I still assume England is heading to 2005-06 series. This Aussie side with talent and bad bruises from past is very vengeful and aiming to humiliate England to death. So no respite for England even though Ashes are lost. In this whole series Aussies are the only side every time they all out England, but England had never done such feat in any of the Aussie Second innings, all Aussie 2nd innings were declared. More than England's batters the bowlers are completely out of form except Broad. England though a good side is not a sure match to this Aussie side and another couple of strong players joining this Aussie squad it is destined to be world beaters again is what I assume.That bodes good for cricket.

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