Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shock Defeat Sinks England

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shock Defeat Sinks England

Article excerpt

England's dreams of retaining the Ashes were dealt a savage blow today when a dramatic final-day collapse enabled Australia to complete an emphatic six-wicket victory in the Second Test.

Resuming the final day at the Adelaide Oval 97 runs ahead on 59-1, England knew that a solid batting performance would all but end Australia's slim hopes of claiming an unexpected victory.

But just as the Tourists seemed to have weathered the early pressure, they lost nine wickets for 70 runs to be dismissed for 129 and Australia, chasing a target of 168, sealed victory for the loss of four wickets with 19 balls remaining.

The shock triumph gives Australia a 2-0 lead in the series and effectively ends England's hopes of retaining the Ashes as no side in the 123-year history of the competition has ever come back to level the series after going two behind.

Once again the chief architect of England's demise was legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne, who finished with figures of 4-49 from 32 overs having claimed incredible figures of 27-11-29-4 bowling unchanged from the Cathedral End all day.

Andrew Strauss was the significant breakthrough when he came down the wicket and, although the ball bounced off his pad to short leg, umpire Steve Bucknor upheld the appeal.

Warne's mastery of control contributed to the next dismissal in his next over with Ian Bell pushing nervously to point.

Paul Collingwood raced down for a quick single, only for the Warwickshire batsman to hesitate and be run out.

Warne sealed the third wicket to fall in a 14-ball spell by claiming the scalp of Kevin Pietersen, bowled around his legs.

Australia then turned the screw by turning to the pace of Brett Lee who struck by tempting Andrew Flintoff into a drive outside off stump which he edged behind.

Geraint Jones fell in almost identical fashion, while Warne bamboozled Ashley Giles.

Warne then outwitted Matthew Hoggard, and Glenn McGrath wrapped up the innings despite last man James Anderson surviving for 41 minutes. …

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