Australia retained the Ashes series title on the back of a comfortable 185-run victory on day five of the fourth Test at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Resuming on 18-2 overnight in pursuit of a 383-run target, England slipped to 197 all out late on Sunday.
Having switched positions for this match, opener Joe Denly and Jason Roy offered some defiance. Wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow and specialist batsman Jos Buttler followed suit, but none of the four were able to graduate to an innings of genuine significance.
Fast bowler Pat Cummins was telling throughout – and was particularly jubilant after bowling Roy through the proverbial gate. England’s right-handers again struggled against late in-swing, as Bairstow and Buttler showed in dismissals to fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, respectively.
Australia won eight successive Ashes titles from 1989 to 2003. England won five of the next seven, before the Aussies reclaimed the title with a 4-0 win in 2018 – and 2019’s retention.
The tourists lead the current series 2-1, after victory at Edgbaston and Old Trafford, defeat at Headingley and a draw at Lord’s. The Oval will host next week’s fifth and final Test.
This five-match affair has ostensibly been headlined by all-rounder Ben Stokes, fast bowler Jofra Archer and Steven Smith. Smith struck twin tons in Birmingham – and a fine double-ton in Manchester.
Stokes collected a sensational fourth-innings century in triumph at Headingley. Archer’s Test debut at Lord’s was characterised by telling short deliveries that concussed Smith and felled the South African-born Marnus Labuschagne.
Photo: Getty Images
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