Australia retain the Ashes after Scott Boland’s SIX-wicket haul on debut completes another pathetic day for England’s batsmen as Pat Cummins’ side take unassailable series lead with innings and 14 runs victory
- England are 3-0 down to Australia, with the Ashes assured for the hosts
- Joe Root and Co lost the third Test by an innings and 14 runs in Melbourne
- They were bowled out for 68 in another damning example of their batting
England slumped to a humiliating defeat on the third morning at the MCG, bowled out for a pathetic 68 as Australia moved into an unassailable 3-0 lead and retained the Ashes in spectacular style.
Resuming at 31 for four, the tourists needed 51 more to avoid an innings defeat, with Joe Root and Ben Stokes at the crease and England fans praying for the miracle that these days feels like their only path to victory.
Instead, the last six tumbled for 22 as Scott Boland, Australia’s 32-year-old debutant seamer, took a barely believable six for seven, and England fell to their lowest total in Australia since March 1904, when they made 61, also at Melbourne.
Australia stormed through England to ensure they will retain the Ashes with a 3-0 lead
Their latest surrender included England’s 53rd and 54th Test ducks of 2021, equalling their own world record, set back in 1998. They’re a laughing stock now and, assuming no more complications with Covid, there are still two Tests to come.
This could get even messier, and it seems inconceivable now that heads will not roll once this fiasco of a tour is finally put out of its misery.
England’s predictable procession continued in the fifth over of the third morning, when Starc bowled Ben Stokes for 11 with a ball that nipped back through the gate to make it 46 for five.
After that, it was the Boland show. He already had figures of two for one after the second evening, and now – charging in on his home ground – he won a marginal lbw decision against Jonny Bairstow.
England put in another disastrous batting performance as Joe Root’s men lost the Ashes
Moments later, came the big one, as Root aimed a skewed drive outside off stump and was caught by David Warner at first slip for 28. That left him with a calendar-year haul of 1,708 runs at 61 – a mammoth 1,178 ahead of England’s next-most productive Test batsman, Rory Burns.
England’s captain trudged off a beaten man. He has been heroic this year, but the same cannot be said of his team-mates. Root really must be exhausted.
His demise hastened England’s. Mark Wood chipped a return catch back to Boland, before Ollie Robinson was caught at third slip.
And it was all over when Cameron Green bowled Jimmy Anderson just 80 minutes into the morning. Australia had won by an innings and 14, and fully deserved the acclaim of the crowd.