England v Australia, 4th Investec Ashes Test, Durham, 4th day August 12, 2013

Broad leads charge to Ashes victory

240

England 238 (Cook 51, Lyon 4-42) and 330 (Bell 113, Harris 7-117, Lyon 3-55) beat Australia 270 (Rogers 110, Watson 68, Broad 5-71) and 224 (Warner 71, Broad 6-50) by 74 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

To Headingley and Edgbaston 1981 may be added Durham 2013. As happened 32 years ago, Australia tossed away day upon day of diligent cricket with a crowded hour or so of batting calamity, against bowling of high quality from an England team that had looked momentarily bereft of inspiration.

Where in 1981 Bob Willis and Ian Botham had rained blows on their antipodean rivals, this time it was Stuart Broad, aided by a critical cameo from Tim Bresnan. Back then, England had been marshalled expertly by Mike Brearley; now it was Alastair Cook who pulled the right rein by replacing Graeme Swann with Bresnan when Australia were 167 for 2 and hurtling towards 299 to win.

What followed was a cavalcade of wickets that undid nine days' worth of hard graft from an Australia team straining to break a sequence of ineptitude. England would have hoped to stay in the match with four wickets after tea - they won it by claiming nine, six to a fearsome Broad. Slightly sheepish in their Ashes retention in Manchester, the hosts could now celebrate winning them in dramatic and damaging style.

For all their efforts at Old Trafford and Chester-le-Street the tourists are 3-0 down, confidence battered by the realisation of futility. Australia's belief that they can win Test matches will be extremely shaken. England's sense that they can defeat Australia come what may can never be stronger than it is now. Chris Rogers, Brad Haddin and Ryan Harris, all heroic at times in this match, will ponder whether the twilight of their careers will be lived without Ashes hope. Steven Smith and Usman Khawaja now bear the scars that once dogged England's 1990s generation.

Broad's impact on the match was profound, as a tally of 11 wickets attests. His away cutter to defeat Michael Clarke was among the balls of the series. But it was Bresnan's introduction that swung the contest, reaping the dismissal of a fluent and focused David Warner. With Rogers he had blunted England's bowlers in a stirring century stand and, though Swann had beaten Rogers with spin and Khawaja without it, Warner and Clarke were scoring freely.

Warner has seldom played better in Tests, repeatedly piercing the off-side field with back-foot punches, then advancing to loft Swann over wide long off for six. But as a modicum of cloud cover passed over Durham, Bresnan extracted bounce and movement from a perfect length to tickle Warner's outside edge and pull England back from the precipice.

Andy Flower's messages from the boundary had circulated freely as Australia swept closer to their target, and a drinks break brought about the plan that would do in Clarke. England set a field that foreshadowed a short ball, and Clarke could not help but notice. Instead he received a delivery that was full, fast and seaming away. The off stump tilted back as Joe Root's had on day three, and Broad roared his approval.

Smith has had a poor match, out cheaply on day two then dropping a catch on the fourth morning. He eluded one caught-behind appeal when the ball struck his hip rather than his bat, but when essaying the shot again could manage only to drag it off his body and on to the stumps.

Shane Watson's front pad again got in the way, plonked across the stumps to Bresnan. Leg stump was visible when he was struck in line, and though the angle was sharp, Aleem Dar's finger was raised. Watson's review showed the ball clipping the stumps, enough to keep him walking.

Broad's pace was pushing the Australians back in their crease, a dangerous position from which to play the seaming ball. Haddin would fall in this manner, struck in line and with feet in the air. As the only batsman left he had to review Tony Hill's decision, and like Watson would depart to a ball barely clipping the stumps. England celebrated like winners.

From there, all that remained was to mop up Australia's longest tail of the series. Harris ended a match he should be proud of by being pinned lbw, Nathan Lyon was far too late and crooked on a Broad delivery that made a mess of his stumps. In fading light, Cook claimed the extra half hour to clinch the match, and a final burst of sun allowed him to call on Broad again. Three balls later Peter Siddle lamely poked a catch to mid-off, a fitting end for Broad but also Australia.

To his evening contribution, Bresnan had added a critical morning prelude. In Harris' hands the new ball immediately started to dance on a pitch showing increasing signs of wear. Bresnan shouldered arms to one ball from Jackson Bird that seamed back and would have clipped the top of the stumps, but that was not enough to overturn Dar's not-out verdict - Australia lost their final review.

The first ball of Harris' second over was fast, skidding and low of bounce, crashing into Bell's stumps after 254 minutes' batting of the highest class. Matt Prior marched out for precisely one delivery, which kicked up off a similar length to the previous one and crashed into off stump via the batsman's arm. Broad averted the hat-trick, but was soon pinned on the gloves by a vicious bouncer from around the wicket.

Harris now had six wickets and England a lead of 243. Knowing this was not enough, Bresnan moved up a gear, clouting Bird out of the attack with a series of muscular blows, then put a dent in the figures of Harris. Swann followed up by gliding Siddle's first ball of the morning to the cover fence. Australian shoulders began to slump.

Clarke replaced Siddle with Lyon, and his maiden calmed the innings. Harris then bowled similarly tightly to Bresnan and was rewarded with a return catch and his best figures in Tests. Swann's response to the fall of the ninth wicket was to try to hit Lyon into the stands, and he offered a high, swirling chance to Smith. He was under the ball in plenty of time but did not get entirely balanced, and the ball bounced out of tense hands.

Swann took England's lead near enough to 300 before Lyon found Anderson's outside edge. They had more than doubled the runs Australia's tail managed to cobble on the previous morning, a difference that would prove almost as decisive as the bowling of Broad and Bresnan. Though they have dodged punches for the most part of two matches, England are deserving Ashes winners. Australia, as they did 32 years ago, have become awfully accomplished at finding ways to lose.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shan156 on August 17, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    @Thyagu5432, Every player gets out of form sometime in his career. Cook and Trott are clearly out of form. Look at their career averages and you would know that their poor showing in this series is not just due to some impressive Aussie bowling but because of a bad patch. The only real problem area I see for England is the #6 which would be resolved if Root moves to #6 which would, in turn, leave one position open - Cook's partner. I think Compton should not have been dropped. That unsettled the batting a bit. The Aussies, on the other hand, have to find 5 batsmen. In couple of years, England would have to replace a few batsmen, a seamer, and a spinner. But at the moment, Aus' holes are more gaping than Eng's.

  • ScottStevo on August 15, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, you miss the point here, mate. It's exceptionally lucky for England. For starters, out of all 3 of those decisions, only 1 bloke didn't even offer a shot and was the one given not out (astoundingly). Worse still, you completely miss the point in that once a referral is called on the umpires on call decision is being questioned and therefore should count for nothing. If that were the case, all 3 would be given out. I'm happy if that's the case, but for 1 to be not out and 2 to be out because of the umpires call and all 3 in the favour of the one side; then it starts to get rather annoying. I appreciate that when you're on the winning side at the end of the match, then it sounds like sour grapes, etc., however, Aus have been on the wrong side of 'umpires call' all series and it's been devastating. I doubt even the most ardent of supporter on any side could possibly say that DRS has been anything more than annoyingly incorrect....

  • jmcilhinney on August 15, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    @poms_have_short_memories on (August 13, 2013, 20:41 GMT), because they were both umpire's call. In the case of Bresnan, he was given not out and Australia reviewed. Umpire's call meant it stayed not out. In the case of Watson, he was given out and he reviewed. Umpire's call meant it stayed out. Haddin's was similar to Watson's although, while I didn't see it, I don't think he even reviewed but would still have been out if he had. That is perhaps some luck going England's way but noone can say with certainty that the original calls were wrong so they all stand.

  • D.L.CHOUHAN on August 14, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    not a great batting by australia ,england played extremly well their bowelr are on the top against the rival specially broad

  • Thyagu5432 on August 14, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    @JG2704: My point is not about whether Cook should have reacted differently. I am only saying that these two teams are evenly matched (well! almost) and each of these test matches (except the 2nd) would have gone either way. Whereas, it is made to believe that England have dominated this series, which is not true. Cook is well aware of it and thanked his stars for that bad light.

    @122notoutWestByfleet1996: Aussies top order has failed miserably except Rogers. England's top order has failed miserably excepy Bell (If KP had a century so did Clarke). If Anderson bowled well so did Harris. If Broad bowled well so did Siddle. May be, only Swann doesn't have a match. If you think Aussie team has gaping holes then so should England.

  • JohnOfCourse on August 14, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Wonderful test match, could have been much closer. Aus are a quality batsman away from catching England. Could be interesting down under, still think England have some quality in reserve. Onions should still have played for Anderson in this particular test and even though Bresnan did well here, think Tremlett should play at the Oval.

  • Aus2013 on August 14, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    Hy Folks many people reckons that Aus dominating periods are over..I dont reckon so...Any team can beat this fragile Aus Ashes line up...Having looked at both the teams Ashes line ups..Eng has got only two fresh lads in their teams..Root & Bairstow..Sadly have a look at the Aus line ups...only three experience batsmen in their teams..Clarke,Watson and haddin..Watson should be totally dropped as he is the only experience Agressive batsmen but failed with the bat and with the ball as well...I dont reckon that Clarke and Watto are not having a pretty good rappo with each others..Aus tank are brainless...All the teams are going with the young lads for the preparation of the 2015 WC in the Aus & NZ...Does any off the teams are going with the young lads for the test mtchsi dont think so..Aus team, coach and the management are totally brainless...They lost the test matches in Ind 4-0 bearing Ashes in their minds..lost the chmpns trphy n Eng..now thy lost the Ashes series...4-0..Im sure thy wl

  • 5wombats on August 14, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    Belatedly - Great win by England. Broad turned up the heat and it was all a bit too much for Australia. Again good to see him silence his critics. Poor old Harris though - who I've always rated highly - how hard does he have to work only for the Aus batsmen to just throw it away? Serious serious problems for Australia in the batting department, just as there was back in 2010/11, and that batting side had Hussey and Ponting.... When England go to Australia in a few weeks we will have the same bowling attack we had 3 years ago and Australia's batting will be the same as it is now. Rather weak to put it mildly. England batting still hasn't really fired. Look out Australia when it does. GO ENGLAND!!!

  • kieranbob on August 13, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    I hope England use the last test as an oppotunity to play some of the younger players and rest some who are more 'injury-prone'. I would take out Pietersen, Anderson and Swann and replace them with Taylor, Finn and Briggs. Maybe rest Prior and hand Bairstow the gloves but that might be a bit too much. The series is won already, there is no point risking players we may need for the ODI / T20 series.

  • JG2704 on August 13, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh on (August 13, 2013, 9:39 GMT) Cheers returned. Thanks for your balanced comms throughout the series and I think you have summed it all up pretty well.

    @Bhavesh Buchon (August 13, 2013, 7:49 GMT) How do you work out that they showed no fight? I think all the actual batsmen (except Smith)were out lbw,bowled or caught behind and Smith was unlucky with the drag on. All the top order wickets were earnt - Aus gave little away

    @clarke501 on (August 13, 2013, 12:36 GMT) Yes Broad should have been out and prob should have walked but was that the only controversial moment in that match? From an Eng point of view I seem to remember Agar looking fortunate not to be given stumped (I believe Eng would have been over 100 ahead in the 1st inns (and being that it was the last wiclet that's a fact and not an imponderable) and wasn't their a dodgy one with Trott and some more dodgy decs which went Eng's way?