The Ashes: Australia retain the urn as England fall to third test defeat

Australia have retained The Ashes after winning the third test in Melbourne to take an unassailable three-nil lead in the five match series.

Australia won by an innings and 14 runs as England’s batsmen crumbled in the face of their pace attack, collapsing to 68 all out in the second innings.

Ben Stokes was dismissed early in proceedings, setting the tone for the rest of England’s innings.

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Australia lead the five match series three nil. Pic: AP

Jonny Bairstow soon followed lbw for just five runs, with captain Joe Root next and then Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson – England’s 53rd and 54th ducks of the year.

It was left to the talismanic James Anderson to attempt to force the Aussies into a second innings, but he only spent a few minutes at the crease before being dismissed for just two – sealing the win.

Australia’s Scott Boland led the attack for the hosts, taking down six Englishmen on his debut.

He said after the victory: “I thought we had a pretty good chance of winning but I had no idea we would do it before lunch.

“That’s my best ever figures… nothing happened that quickly.”

Boland, who is only the second indigenous player to have ever kitted up for the Australian men’s team, was also handed the Johnny Mullagh medal (named after the first indigenous man to play for Australia) and awarded the man of the match for the Boxing Day test.

The Australians celebrate the fall of yet another English wicket Pic: Dave Hewison/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire)
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The Australians celebrate the fall of yet another English wicket. Pic: Dave Hewison/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire)

Though they can no longer win The Ashes, the five match series now continues in the New Year, with England hoping to restore some pride after what has been a lacklustre campaign from Root’s men.

“Credit to Australia, they blew us away last night and they’ve outplayed us in this test match and in this series so far,” the skipper said after the game.

“We’ve got a lot of hard work to do to make sure we come back strong in the last two games.”

The Ashes-winning, former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted his frustration, saying: “England nowhere near good enough… they will know that.

“But seeing a 32 yr old on debut on his home turf with the Crowd going berserk is what makes Sport so special.

“Well done Australia… Far too good for England”.

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