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Australia showed their potency as a superior force in Test cricket after sealing the Ashes 4-0 against England. After a productive Day Four in the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), it was all Australia on the final day. Pat Cummins led the way for the hosts as they thrashed England by an innings and 123 runs.
It was a sense of pride to watch the Australians be in such commanding mode as they kept growing as an unit with multiple performers all playing for victory. They made it a task to win and win big, even though it was a dead-rubber Test with the urn regained in Perth itself. The ‘Marsh Brothers’ continued from where they left on Day Three to shine on Sunday, as both Shaun and Mitchell struck respective tons to help their side declare at 649/7 and having England on the mat.
With a monumental task ahead of them, it was always going to be a matter of time and Steve Smith’s side notched a comprehensive victory in the 2nd session of the fifth day.
ALSO READ: Ashes 2017-18: Khawaja and ‘Marsh Brothers’ Put Australia in Command
Trailing by 303 runs, England had one option and that was to save the Test. But they got off to a disastrous start on Sunday and finished the day at 93/4. Australia needed just six wickets to win by an innings margin and put more misery on the visitors. One should feel sad for Joe Root who retired ill after getting to another fifty. He was hospitalised after dehydration but resumed play on Monday and got to his fifty. But he decided to opt out after lunch.
Root scored 58 in the 2nd innings and if he would have been fit, Australia’s win would have been delayed much further to say at the least. He batted with a lot of character and grit and it showed in his innings.
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After Nathan Lyon got Moeen Ali in the morning for the seventh time in the series, Pat Cummins charged in to dismiss Jonny Bairstow who played well for his 38 runs. He did not finish there as the spell saw him dismissing Stuart Broad and Mason Crane next in just a quick phase of time. Here is a look at Cummins’ display.
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The Aussie pacers bowled with a lot of pace and pitched the ball short to the tail. That had been a regular phenomenon in the series and nothing changed at the SCG.
Earlier, the stage for the victory was set by the ‘Marsh Brothers’ with Shaun slapping a brilliant 156 runs on Sunday. His younger brother scored 101 as the duo added 269 runs for the fifth wicket. The duo batted superbly to hand Aussies the platform to go in with a lot of positivity and aggression.
Runs: 156, Balls: 291, 4/6: 18/0, S/R: 53.61
Runs: 101, Balls: 141, 4/6: 15/2, S/R: 71.63
Both the batsmen celebrated their centuries with a lot of excitement and the sight will be remembered for a long period of time. Mitchell Marsh has had an excellent time after his comeback from injury and scoring two tons in three Tests in the series, highlights how important he is in that middle order. His elder brother too has enjoyed a good summer of Test cricket and has justified his presence as a senior of the side in a glaring manner.
ALSO READ: Steve Smith in ‘Bradman’ zone after Aussies dominate play
The hosts need to be lauded for having three centurions in a solitary innings after Usman Khawaja’s brilliant 171 earlier. Mitchell fell after getting to his ton, but Shaun carried on targeting the English bowlers with a lot of precision and patience. That helped skipper Steve Smith to get a cushion and put England to bat with a lot of overs to bowl at them on the 4th day. And by the end he achieved his target dismantling the top order and limiting them under the sun.
ALSO READ: Ashes 2017-18: Similar story for Joe Root & Co. Aussie pacers shine at the SCG
England were 210 runs away from making Australia bat again with Nathan Lyon getting two scalps on Day 4. England’s openers lost the plot against Lyon just before tea and after the break the pacers joined in. Lyon was fabulous on Day 5 too.
Pat Cummins finished with 23 wickets tied with Mitchell Stars in the series and was one of the chief architecture for the victory.
Brief Score, 5th Test, Day 5: England (2nd Innings) 9/180 (Root 58, Bairstow 38) lost by an innings and 123 runs.
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