Ashes 2013-14: Australia on course for a series whitewash as Chris Rogers century helps them to 4-0 series lead
After comprehensive eight-wicket victory over England in Melbourne, focus now turns to final Test in Sydney starting on 3 January
Sunday 29 December 2013
Chris Rogers scored a century on his home ground to help Australia go 4-0 up in the Ashes series thanks to a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over England earlier today
With the urn already lost, the tourists suffered perhaps their worst defeat of the series, as they had been in a dominant position on the third afternoon. Yet their batting collapse thereafter turned the Test on its head and kept Australia on course for a 5-0 whitewash, with the final Test in Sydney starting on 3 January.
Even today, England had their chances, as Australia resumed on 30 without loss, needing 201 more runs to win. Rogers, who plays at the MCG for Victoria, was dropped on 19 by Alastair Cook at first slip off the bowling of Stuart Broad, although wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow should surely have claimed the catch before the ball reached his captain.
Cook had no such excuses shortly afterwards, when David Warner had 22. The opener drove loosely at Ben Stokes and the edge flew straight to Cook, who could not hold on to a regulation chance. It appeared to sum up his state of mind, as well as that of his team.
ASHES PODCAST: Stephen Brenkley and Tom Collomosse discuss the fourth day of the Fourth Test. Listen below…
England finally managed to strike with the score on 65. Warner tried to steer a short ball from Stokes over the slip cordon, misjudged the stroke and was caught behind for 25.
That brought Shane Watson, a batsman who has been vulnerable in this series, to the crease. He was not so in this innings, however, as he and Rogers set about dismantling a toothless England attack. Between them, Rogers, Warner and Watson added 113 runs in 27 overs before lunch, at a scoring rate of more than four per over.
Cook's tactics raised some eyebrows, as he brought the part-time off-spin of Joe Root into the attack before the slow left-arm of Monty Panesar, while Stuart Broad, England's most dangerous bowler in the series, was under-used.
The pattern remained the same after lunch. Rogers, who played superbly, reached his second Ashes hundred with a cover drive off Jimmy Anderson. Watson was similarly fluent in bringing up a 70-ball half-century and he would finish 85 not out.
Rogers had moved to 116 when he was caught behind off Panesar but by then, the game was long since up. There was still time for Australia captain Michael Clarke to pass 8,000 Test runs before Watson hit the winning runs at 2.26pm local time by drilling Panesar through midwicket for four
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'