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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PHOTOS: Australia reclaim Ashes with innings and 41-run win at WACA

PHOTOS: Australia reclaim Ashes with innings and 41-run win at WACA

Last updated on: December 18, 2017 14:10 IST

Images from Day 5 of the 3rd Ashes Test played at the WACA in Perth on Monday

 Australia celebrate after Pat Cummins claimed the final wicket of Chris Woakes to claim victory and the Ashes series on Day 5 of the 3rd Test at WACA in Perth on Monday

IMAGE: Australia's Pat Cummins celebrates the final wicket of England's Chris Woakes to help Australia reclaim the Ashes on Day 5 of the Third Ashes Test at WACA in Perth on Monday. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australia thrashed England by an innings and 41 runs in the third Test in Perth on Monday to reclaim the Ashes with two matches to spare and condemn Joe Root's team to a period of gloomy introspection.

 

Seamer Josh Hazlewood finished with a five-wicket haul as England were bowled out for 218 before tea at the WACA, four years after Alastair Cook's side meekly handed back the urn at the same venue, and with the same humiliating 3-0 scoreline.

James Anderson is stuck by a delivery from Pat Cummins

IMAGE: James Anderson is stuck by a delivery from Pat Cummins. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Play was delayed by three hours by damp patches on the pitch and rain squalls throughout the morning, but it was not enough to save England as they lost their last six wickets for 85 runs.

"So many different emotions are coming out right now, I’m that excited," Australia skipper Steve Smith said.

"What an amazing feeling to win an Ashes series, my first as captain to be three-nil up...it’s quite incredible."

Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates after dismissing England's Moeen Ali

IMAGE: Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates after dismissing England's Moeen Ali. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Even with some 28 overs lost to the weather, England resumed in peril at 132 for four, still 127 runs short of making Australia bat again on a pitch riddled with cracks at both ends.

Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow was bowled for 14 by Hazlewood on the first delivery he faced, with Nathan Lyon trapping Moeen Ali lbw for 11.

First innings centurion Dawid Malan raised his fourth Test half-century but after being worked over by Hazlewood, a gloved catch behind for 54 when trying to pull the bowler.

IMAGE: Australia's players celebrate as Jonny Bairstow walks back after his dismissal. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Hazlewood claimed his fifth victim of the match when tail-ender Craig Overton was taken in the gully for 12 where Usman Khawaja took a fine low catch.

Stuart Broad lasted two balls before he was caught behind off Pat Cummins, with the same bowler wrapping up the match and the series by dismissing Chris Woakes for 22.

IMAGE: Joe Root and Steve Smith of speak with umpire Marais Erasmus as groundsmen dry the pitch. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Earlier, ground staff had used leaf-blowers to dry out damp patches at the southern end of the wicket but were forced to abandon their work a number of times as rain squalls blew through.

Play finally got underway at 1 p.m. local time (1030 IST).

Despite heavy rain forecast overnight, WACA CEO Christina Matthews said ground staff were unprepared for the conditions and "slow" to protect the pitch.

"The hessian (covers) got wet and it’s just been unbelievable late yesterday and last night, blustery, trying to get things," she told ABC radio.

"I think in their efforts to try to get going they've been slightly slow in getting the hessian back on and things like that.

IMAGE: England head coach Trevor Bayliss inspects the wet pitch as rain delays the start of play. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

"But we've certainly got enough people working on it.

"The hard thing for us is we don't normally have these conditions so reacting to it is a little bit different to other places."

The umpires had said the pitch needed to be as dry as it was at the end of day four.

"There was a bit of leakage overnight so they're doing a bit of a drying job with the blowers," umpire Marais Erasmus told BT Sport.

"I guess (the leak) was from where the covers join," second umpire Chris Gaffaney added.

England coach Trevor Bayliss had described the wicket as like "plasticine" in the morning.

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