England 551-6 dec & 129 Australia 513 & 168-4 (Australia win by six wickets): Warne's greatest turn leaves desperate England in tatters

England's dreams of retaining the Ashes are in tatters following yesterday's sensational six-wicket defeat to Australia in the second Test. The loss gave Australia a 2-0 lead in the five-match series and with Andrew Flintoff limping through the final day it is difficult to see England coming back. History is against them; no England side has ever drawn a series in Australia from this position, let alone won one.

For an Australian this victory was as huge as England's at Edgbaston 15 months ago and it was clear to see how much it meant to Ricky Ponting's team when Michael Hussey scored the winning run with 19 balls of the game remaining. The majority of players in this great Australian side have achieved more than most in the history of the game, yet here they were jumping and hugging each other like little children. Heavens knows what the scenes were like in the England changing room as Shane Warne and company soaked up the applause of ecstatic home fans. It will take them some time to get over this defeat.

And, inevitably, it was Warne who transformed what was widely expected to be a dull day into a memorable one. It is hard to find superlatives to describe how great a cricketer this man is. His legend grows at a faster rate than his tally of Test wickets - now 694 - and he has nothing more to prove, but here he was getting dirty and pushing his sore and tired body to the limit to win a game of cricket for his side. This guy just loves competing and that is why he is a champion.

And it was this drive, this unquenchable desire to be the main man, that turned the Test Australia's way. England will not admit to choking: but they did. They entered the final day hoping rather than believing that they could live with Warne but Bell, Pietersen and Flintoff, to name but three, could not handle the heat.

Warne bowled unchanged from the Cathedral End of this beautiful ground for over four hours, sending down 27 mesmeric overs. He conceded only 29 runs and took four wickets, but it could have easily been six or seven such was the quality of his bowling. While he toiled away England's batsmen must have felt they were in the grip of a huge boa constrictor that was slowly squeezing the life out of them.

Warne was brilliant but England will be devastated by the events that unfolded. Having scored 551 for 6 in their first innings they would have felt they were safe, as they would have for most of the third and fourth days, too. But once Australia advanced to within 38 runs of England's first-innings score they were always going to be under pressure. Even so, losing nine wickets for the addition of 60 runs in 43 overs is unacceptable.

In the past year England have capitulated on four occasions when placed in a similar situation, and the memories of Multan and Lahore in Pakistan, Chandigarh in India, and Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge, would have been present as they made their way to the ground. In Pakistan, England faced Shoaib Akhtar at the height of his powers and, at Trent Bridge, Muttiah Muralitharan was at his best, but England have got to find players who can handle these situations if they are to become the best side in the world.

Australia wobbled twice as they chased 168 in 36 overs, reviving hopes of an Edgbaston-style victory. Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden fell in the opening six overs of the hosts' reply, and Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn perished in consecutive overs when 50 runs were required. But Hussey kept his cool superbly, collecting singles with surgical precision and swatting the occasional ball to the boundary. The left-hander is a magnificent batsman.

In an attempt to find a winning formula Flintoff rotated his bowlers but nobody came close to repeating the stranglehold Warne had earlier in the day. The defensive fields Flintoff set did not help the bowlers' cause - it was too easy for the Aussies to collect singles. Ponting summed up England's approach after the match when he suggested that they were looking for Australia to make mistakes rather than trying to win the game.

England began the final day on 59 for 1 and with a lead of 97, and for the first 45 minutes it appeared as though the match was heading towards a boring draw. Warne and Stuart Clark were bowling well but Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell looked comfortable.

But the entire nature of the Test changed when Strauss was adjudged to have been caught at short-leg. The opener was vexed when the umpire, Steve Bucknor, raised his finger, and he had every right to be - the ball had not made contact with his bat.

Collapses of this stature usually involve a needless run-out and this was the case here. Bell sold Paul Collingwood something of a dummy when he dabbed Warne to backward point and with both batsmen at the wicketkeeper's end Michael Clarke swooped and threw the ball to the bowler. Bell was beaten by Warne's underarm lob and England were 70 for 3.

In England's first innings Kevin Pietersen comfortably won his battle with Warne but, like all great competitors, the master bit back. Warne could not hide his delight after bowling Pietersen behind his legs with a big ripper of a leg-break. Clenching his fist in celebration Warne stood in the middle of the pitch like a matador who had just slayed a bull. If the panic button had not already been pressed in the visitors' changing room it was now.

Flintoff joined Collingwood but he did not appear to know quite how to play. England's captain blocked a few, dabbed at a couple and then had a horrible waft at Brett Lee and was caught behind. England were now in disarray on 77 for 5.

Jones gave the visiting supporters in another big crowd - the match attendance of 136,761 was the highest in 48 years - brief hope before becoming Lee's second victim. Ashley Giles, who was picked ahead of Monty Panesar for his batting, edged Warne to slip and Matthew Hoggard groped at a googly like a teenager and was bowled.

Collingwood, meanwhile, was fighting as if his life depended on it. After scoring a double century in the first innings and batting for more than three hours yesterday, he did not deserve to be on the losing side, but the prospect of it became inevitable when a revitalised Glenn McGrath claimed England's final two wickets.

England travelled to Perth this morning and the calls for Michael Vaughan to return will gather momentum. Vaughan's presence in Australia has done nothing but undermine what Flintoff and his side have been trying to achieve. In this series England have played far too many cricketers who have been short of match practice, so why play another?

Adelaide Oval scoreboard

England won toss

England - Second Innings

A J Strauss c Hussey b Warne 34

125min, 79 balls, 3 fours

A N Cook c Gilchrist b Clark 9

48min, 35 balls, 1 four

I R Bell run out (Clarke-Warne) 26

85min, 73 balls, 2 fours

P D Collingwood not out 22

198min, 119 balls, 2 fours

K P Pietersen b Warne 2

8min, 5 balls

*A Flintoff c Gilchrist b Lee 2

25 mins, 24 balls

ÝG O Jones c Hayden b Lee 10

42min, 24 balls, 1 four

A F Giles c Hayden b Warne 0

14min, 8 balls

M J Hoggard b Warne 4

26min, 24 balls

S J Harmison lbw b McGrath 8

26min, 21 balls

J M Anderson lbw b McGrath 1

41min, 28 balls

Extras (b3, lb5, w1, nb2, pens0) 11

Total (324 mins, 73 overs) 129

Fall: 1-31 (Cook), 2-69 (Strauss), 3-70 (Bell), 4-73 (Pietersen), 5-77 (Flintoff), 6-94 (Jones), 7-97 (Giles), 8-105 (Hoggard), 9-119 (Harmison), 10-129 (Anderson).

Bowling: Lee 18-3-35-2 (nb2) (5-1-13-0 13-2-22-2); McGrath 10-6-15-2 (w1) (4-1-12-0 6-5-3-2); Warne 32-12-49-4; Clark 13-4-22-1 (one spell each).

Progress: Fourth day: 50 in 67 mins, 15.2 overs. Close 59-1 (Strauss 31, Bell 18) 19 overs. Fifth day: Lunch 89-5 (Collingwood 5, Jones 5) 47 overs. 100 in 241 min, 54.2 overs. Innings closed 3.42pm.

Australia - Second Innings

J L Langer c Bell b Hoggard 7

12min, 8 balls, 1 four

M L Hayden c Collingwood b Flintoff 18

31min, 17 balls, 2 fours

*R T Ponting c Strauss b Giles 49

95min, 65 balls, 5 fours

M E K Hussey not out 61

129min, 66 balls, 5 fours

D R Martyn c Strauss b Flintoff 5

4min, 4 balls, 1 four

M J Clarke not out 21

47min, 39 balls, 1 seven

Extras (b2, lb2, w1, nb2, pens0) 7

Total (for 4, 161 mins, 32.5 overs) 168

Fall: 1-14 (Langer), 2-33 (Hayden), 3-116 (Ponting), 4-121 (Martyn).

Did not bat: ÝA C Gilchrist, S K Warne, B Lee, S R Clark, G D McGrath.

Bowling: Hoggard 4-0-29-1 (3-0-19-1 1-0-10-0); Flintoff 9-0-44-2 (nb2) (5-0-23-1 4-0-21-1); Giles 10-0-46-1 (3-0-14-0 2-0-10-0 5-0-22-1); Harmison 4-0-15-0 (2-0-7-0 2-0-8-0); Anderson 3.5-0-23-0 (2-0-14-0 1.5-0-9-0), Pietersen 2-0-7-0 (one spell).

Progress: Fifth day: 50: 52 min, 9.5 overs. 100: 90 min, 17.4 overs. Final hour signalled at 114-2 (Ponting 48, Hussey 35) 21 overs. 150: 143 min, 28.5 overs. Australia won at 6.43pm with 19 balls to spare. Hussey 50: 111 min, 54 balls, 4 fours.

Australia won by 6 wickets.

Umpires: S A Bucknor (WI) and R E Koertzen (SA). TV replay umpire: S J Davis. Match referee: J J Crowe (NZ).

Fifth Day: How They Rated


Andrew Strauss 5

Unlucky to be given but had to go.

Ian Bell 4

Ridiculous run-out highlighted English anxiety and started rout.

Paul Collingwood 8

Did not deserve to be on the losing side.

Kevin Pietersen 1

Poor shot and slack throw that conceded seven runs. Bad day.

Andrew Flintoff 5

Awful shot but whole-hearted bowling. Will he bowl again here?

Geraint Jones 3

Picked for his batting but failed again.

Ashley Giles 2

Come on down, Monty Panesar.

Matthew Hoggard 3

Tried hard - defeat wasn't his fault.

Stephen Harmison 2

A lot more required. More rhythm but no potency with ball.

James Anderson 2

Wasted 40 minutes with bat, bowling again ineffective.


Justin Langer 2

Not his Test.

Matthew Hayden 3

His time is nearly up.

Ricky Ponting 8

Captained well, took Australia to brink of a memorable victory.

Damien Martyn 1

If Shane Watson is fit this could have been his last Test.

Mike Hussey 8

Guided Australia home in magnificent manner.

Michael Clarke 6

Gave Hussey excellent support.

Shane Warne 10

What can you do when he performs like this?

Stuart Clark 6

Helped set the tone for the rest of the day.

Brett Lee 8

Took two important wickets and bowled with hostility.

Glenn McGrath 7

There may be life in the old dog yet.

Angus Fraser

A Brazilian wandering spider

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Wonnacott dancing the pasadoble
TVStrictly Come Dancing The Result
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
BBC's Antiques Roadshow uncovers a TIE fighter pilot helmet from the 1977 Star Wars film, valuing it at £50,000

TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow


Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

Steven Caulker of QPR scores an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past