By Michael Stafford-Jones
- Centuries from Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow propel England to first innings’ 403
- Australia respond with 662-9 courtesy of Steve Smith’s 239 and Mitch Marsh’s 181
- Josh Hazlewood takes 5-48 as Australia skittle England for 218 to win by an innings and 41 runs
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – England surrender The Ashes after poor bowling and weak performances from their senior players lead to an embarrassing innings loss in the Third Test.
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Alastair Cook – 1/10 – Scored 7 and 14 and looks all at sea facing Australia’s high-class bowling attack. Will need to draw on all his trademark resolve to turn his form around.
Mark Stoneman – 7/10 – Timed the ball superbly and battled bravely against hostile bowling during admirable first innings knock of 56. Dismissed early by a good ball from Josh Hazlewood in the second innings.
James Vince – 7/10 – Displayed excellent timing and judgment during second innings 55 and might have made more if he had not been bowled by an extraordinary delivery from Mitchell Starc. Also played some good shots in the first innings to make 25.
Joe Root – 2/10 – Seemed a little overwhelmed by the pressure and had his worst match of the series so far with the bat and in the field. Scores of 20 and 14 are way short of what England need from their best batsman.
Dawid Malan – 10/10 – Batted brilliantly to make his maiden Test ton (140) in the first innings, then fought hard to add 54 second time around. Utterly blameless for England’s defeat and one of the few positives they can take away from the occasion.
Jonny Bairstow – 9/10 – Scored 119 during a superb, chanceless innings that impressed virtually everyone who watched it. Unlucky to be bowled by a ball that kept low in the second innings.
Moeen Ali – 1/10 – Not worth his place in the team at the moment after useless performances with bat and ball for the third match running. Took one wicket and conceded 120 runs in 33 overs and scored 0 and 11.
Chris Woakes – 3/10 – A long way from being threatening enough with the ball as he only took one wicket in 41 overs. Showed some spirit to make 22 with the bat as England tried to save the game but failed in the first innings.
Craig Overton – 6/10 – The pick of England’s bowlers. Produced an excellent opening spell to remove Cameron Bancroft and David Warner and give England hope. Unlucky to suffer a cracked rib which reduced his effectiveness during the rest of the innings.
Stuart Broad – 0/10 – Possibly his worst game in an England shirt. Figures of 35 overs bowled, 142 runs conceded and no wickets taken speak for themselves. Being dropped might do him a favour.
James Anderson – 5/10 – Fought back well to take four wickets on day four after failing to get any on day three. Deserves some credit for maintaining a good economy rate even when things are going badly.
Cameron Bancroft – 4/10 – Looked quite fluent during his 25 before getting out to a good ball from Overton. Took a couple of catches in the slips but dropped one too.
David Warner – 3/10 – Not having a great series so far and once again got out as soon as an England bowler landed the ball on a good line and length just outside the off-stump.
Usman Khawaja – 5/10 – Battled his way to an unconvincing 50. Probably would have been dismissed for much less if England had bowled well.
Steve Smith – 10/10 – There are not enough superlatives to describe the quality of his batting at the moment. Virtually untouchable during his innings of 239 – way too good for England to deal with.
Shaun Marsh – 4/10 – Made 28 in 75 balls during a thoroughly unspectacular stay at the crease.
Mitchell Marsh – 10/10 – Took full advantage of poor bowling from England as he flayed Broad and co. to all parts of the WACA during superb 181 (his maiden Test century). Ineffective with the ball but it did not matter.
Tim Paine – 7/10 – Quietly having an impressive series. Scored 49 not out in this match and averages 43.33 so far in The Ashes. Also took seven catches at the WACA.
Mitchell Starc – 7/10 – In the first innings, he removed Cook early, dislodged steely Stoneman, bowled Bairstow and bounced out Broad. Was less effective in the second innings after bruising his heel, but still managed to produce a magic ball to dismiss Vince.
Pat Cummins – 6/10 – Steady game from the consistent fast bowler. Took two wickets in each innings and contributed usefully – again – with the bat.
Josh Hazlewood – 9/10 – Outstanding display of hostile, accurate fast bowling. Dismissed Vince during 3-92 in the first innings, then removed Cook, Stoneman, Malan and Bairstow as he took 5-48 second time around.
Nathan Lyon – 5/10 – England’s batsmen played him better in this match on a pitch that makes it difficult for spinners to thrive. However, he still took three wickets in total and kept the scoring rate relatively low.
The Fourth Test between England and Australia begins in Melbourne at 11.30pm GMT on Christmas Day.
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