Ashes 3rd Test, Day 5: England surrender Ashes - Cricket - Sport - The Independent

Ashes 3rd Test, Day 5: England surrender Ashes

England completed a lame surrender of the Ashes today after they slipped to a comprehensive 206 runs defeat in the third Test to hand Australia the series.



















Having battled for 16 years and 142 days to regain the Ashes at the Oval in September 2005, it took England only one year and 96 days to lose them following today's defeat at the WACA.



Resuming the final day trailing by 291 runs on 265 for five, England knew the odds of denying Australia victory were stacked against them.



They began the day impressively enough with England captain Andrew Flintoff claiming his first half-century of the series and dominating a 75-run partnership with Kevin Pietersen.



But wickets in successive overs from Shane Warne, effectively ended England's hopes and they slipped to 350 all out just two balls after lunch having lost their last five wickets for only 14 runs.



The tourists had made a cautious start to the day, batting out the first two overs as maidens until Flintoff launched into fast bowler Brett Lee after he was introduced into the attack in the eighth over of the day.



Flintoff immediately seized on the challenge of attacking Lee, driving his first ball down the ground for four and hammering 13 off his first five deliveries.



The onslaught, which included a six over the head of Mike Hussey on the mid-wicket boundary, was so savage that Australian captain Ricky Ponting had to withdraw his fastest bowler from the attack after he had conceded 26 runs in only three overs.



But the introduction in the attack of leg-spinner Shane Warne in the 10th over of the morning, was the turning point of the session after he broke England's fifth wicket partnership in his fifth over.



Flintoff had hammered 51 out of a 75-run stand, including eight fours and a six, but was out-witted with a cleverly-flighted delivery which yorked the England captain and crashed into his stumps.



Under-fire wicketkeeper Geraint Jones, who walked out on a pair after suffering the first duck of his Test career in the first innings, fared little better this time around.



Attempting to sweep Warne off the seventh delivery of his innings, Jones missed the ball and waited anxiously out of his crease while umpire Rudi Koertzen considered an appeal for lbw.



While Jones maintained his pose, Ponting ran in from short extra cover to throw down the stumps to run England's wicketkeeper out for the first pair of his Test career.



Sajid Mahmood followed three overs later when he was given lbw to a full toss from seamer Stuart Clark and Warne claimed his second of the morning session just one over before lunch as he trapped Steve Harmison lbw for nought.



Last man Monty Panesar survived until lunch but fell just two balls after the interval when he swung and missed at Warne to give the legendary leg-spinner his 699th Test victim to wrap up the Ashes for Australia.





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