Ashes 2009: Australia Level The Series With Big Win

Ashes 2009: Australia Level The Series With Big Win
Ashes 2009: Australia Level The Series With Big Win
©Action Images / Lee Smith Livepic

Australia 445 (North 110, Clarke 93, Ponting 78) beat
England 102 & 263 (Swann 62, Johnson 5-69) by an innings & 80 runs

Fourth Ashes Test, Headingley, day three: stumps

Australia didn't quite have things their own way day three but they completed a crushing, series-levelling win over England at Headingley shortly after lunch on the third day.

England were clinging on, 98 runs behind as they went to lunch on 245 for eight but subsided after the break to be bowled out for 263 in their second innings, Mitchell Johnson returning figures of five for 69 to seal an innings and 80-run win.

Australia struck with the third ball of the day to reduce England to 86 for six when James Anderson limply guided Ben Hilfenhaus to Ricky Ponting at slip for four an when Matthew Prior (22) fell to an athletic catch by wicket-keeper Brad Haddin to the same bowler, it looked as if Australia were about to wrap things up extremely quickly.

However, on the day that a leaked dossier revealed that Justin Langer believes that England are 'flat', 'lazy' and do not believe in themselves, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann launched a stunning counter-attack that betrayed a team in disarry and lacking vital qualities for Ashes victory.

The Nottinghamshire pair brought up a century partnership in just 73 balls, Broad hammering ten fours in a 48-ball innings of 61, four of them coming from one Stuart Clark over.

Swann played his part with some punishing drives through the off side but after Broad was missed, half-chances all of them, by Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Simon Katich, he was finally held by Shane Watson at deep backward square, Siddle the relieved bowler.

Swann reached a second Test half-century by hooking Siddle for a maximum and gained a rousing ovation from the crowd, which finally had some England batting feats to shout about, despite the desperate game situation.

Swann didn't last much longer though, edging Johnson to Haddin having made a bright and breezy 62 in 72 balls and Johnson finished things off 25 minutes after the lunch interval by clean bowling Graham Onions for a duck, leaving Steve Harmison unbeaten on 19 at the other end.

England batted first and were bowled out for 102; Australia replied with 445, Marcus North scoring 110 and Michael Clarke 93 and the series moves on to The Oval on 20th August with everything to play for, although Australia need only to draw the series to retain the Ashes.

© Cricket World 2009