- Australia beat England to win the Ashes
- Steve Smith led from the front by scoring double ton
- Hazlewood runs through England in second innings
- WACA hosted its last game
In what was a farewell Test for the iconic Australian ground WACA in Perth, Australia trounced England by an innings and 41 runs to regain the Ashes Trophy.
It was a memorable match for the hosts and the first day suggested that the fortress would be breached in the last attempt as England put on a mighty batting display after opting to bat first. However the Kangaroos came back strongly and triggered bottom order collapse as England were bundled out for 403 after centuries from Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow.
Coming in to bat the hosts had a huge mountain to climb but winning Ashes is not easy. You need to really work hard for that and that’s what the Aussies, led by Steve Smith, did.
Smith led from the front and registered his highest individual score(239) and stitched together a record 301-run partnership with Mitchell Marsh(181). Riding on their knocks and 49 and 41 from Tim Paine and Pat Cummins respectively Australia declared their first innings for 662/9, gaining a lead of 259 runs.
It proved to be too much for the England, which is struggling with the bat and ball throughout the tournament. Couple of half-centuries from James Vince and Dawid Malan, 55 and 54 respectively, were not enough as Josh Hazlewood ran through their batting line up dismissing them for just 218. Hazlewood picked up 5 wickets.
After 368/4, much was expected from England but they collapsed to get dismissed for just 403 losing their last 6 wickets for just 35 runs. However the biggest turning point was Steve Smith’s knock. He scored at will and never looked in trouble in route to his highest individual score.
Craig Overton picked up initial 2 wickets but once he was injured England lacked the teeth in bowling. James Anderson and Stuart Broad disappointed. However, Anderson came back to clean up both set batsmen Smith and Mitchell Marsh along with tail.
Dawid Malan was impressive throughout the day but barring Bairstow, none supported him. Alastair Cook continued to struggle while Joe Root could not score much either.
Australia (662/9 dec- Smith 239, M Marsh 181, James Anderson 4/116) beat England (1st inns: 403- Dawid Malan 140, Jonny Bairstow 119, Starc 4/91, Hazlewood 3/92. 2nd inns: 218- James Vince- 55, Malan- 54, Hazlewood 5/48) by an innings and 41 runs.