HOBART, AUSTRALIA (AFP) – Australia’s fast bowlers ran through the English batting line-up to claim a comprehensive 146-run win in the fifth and final Ashes Test at Hobart yesterday, sealing a one-sided series 4-0.
After a bright 68-run opening stand chasing 271 for victory, England collapsed once again to hand the Test to the rampant Australian outfit, losing 10 wickets for 56 runs in 137 balls.
The hosts could easily have won the series 5-0, but for some bad weather and heroics from England’s lower order in Sydney, when the outclassed visitors held on for a tense draw.
“To be at the end of a five-Test series with so many positives – winning 4-0 – it’s huge so I’m really pumped,” Australian captain Pat Cummins said.
“It really feels like we are building to something big.
“I can’t wait to show our wares overseas so we can really judge ourselves in all conditions.”
England had no answers once more in Hobart to the pace barrage of Cummins, Cameron Green, Scott Boland and Mitchell Starc, who shared the wickets between them and took nine English wickets in the night session.
So dominant were the fast bowlers, off-spinner Nathan Lyon did not bowl a ball in the entire match.
England captain Joe Root admitted his side were simply not good enough throughout the series.
“It’s been a really tough tour,” he said. “We’ve played good cricket in parts, we’ve just not been able to structure a whole game together.”
The tourists had bowled Australia out for 155 during the middle session, leaving themselves an improbable target of 271 for victory.
Rory Burns and fellow opener Zak Crawley got the tourists off to a rousing start but in the last over before tea, Burns tried to leave a ball from Green, only to chop it on, falling for 26 with the score on 68.
Dawid Malan started well with a couple of slashing boundaries, but he fell the same way, chopping on to Green for 10 to end a disappointing Test.
Green struck again when Crawley edged the ball through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey, before Ben Stokes on five threw his wicket away when he pulled a Starc short ball to Lyon at deep square leg.
Root has endured a difficult series after some bright starts, but there was nothing he could do when a Boland delivery barely bounced, shooting through and crashing into the bottom of off-stump.
All Root could do was stand there and shake his head with a wry smile before trudging off, bringing debutant Sam Billings to the crease.
But he didn’t last long before he meekly chipped Boland to mid-off where Cummins took a simple catch.
The wickets continued to tumble after that with no one offering any resistance and it was no surprise when Australia wrapped up the win 40 minutes before stumps.