|Third Ashes Test, Waca (day five of five)|
|England 403 (Malan 140) & 218 (Vince 55)|
|Australia 662-9 dec (Smith 239, M Marsh 181)|
|Australia won by an innings and 41 runs|
England surrendered the Ashes as Australia stormed to a massive win in the third Test in Perth and an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Needing 259 to make the home side bat again, the tourists lost their remaining six wickets in 34 overs to be bowled out for 218 on the fifth day.
Josh Hazlewood took 5-48 for Australia, who won by an innings and 41 runs despite play being delayed by three hours because of a wet patch on the pitch.
Water got under the covers during overnight rain and meant ground staff had to dry the surface with leaf blowers.
Hazlewood bowled Jonny Bairstow with his first delivery of the day and had Dawid Malan caught down the leg side for 54, before Pat Cummins wrapped it up by having Chris Woakes caught behind.
This is Australia’s seventh win in eight Ashes series down under and a regaining of the urn after England’s triumph on home soil in 2015.
Australia have also won eight consecutive home Tests against England, equalling a record that goes back to the 1920s.
They will now target a second successive 5-0 whitewash in Australia – and third in 11 years – with matches in Melbourne and Sydney still to come.
England downed down under
England’s defence of the urn was damaged before they even named their squad, when all-rounder and talisman Ben Stokes was arrested for his part in an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
Stokes did not make the trip down under, while the tourists also had to deal with the off-field distractions of Bairstow being accused of ‘headbutting’ Australia opener Cameron Bancroft and Lions batsman Ben Duckett pouring a drink over James Anderson.
On the field, they had opportunities. Australia were reduced 76-4 and 209-7, yet still won the first Test by 10 wickets, while England were poor with ball and bat in the first innings of the second Test, with a recovery coming too late.
In Perth, they slipped from 368-4 to 403 all out, then saw Australia rack up 662-9 declared.
Their inexperienced players have performed admirably – Malan is their highest runscorer, Mark Stoneman and James Vince have each made two half-centuries and Craig Overton has impressed with the ball in his first two Tests.
But, Anderson aside, England’s established players have disappointed. Captain Joe Root and Alastair Cook have managed only 259 runs between them and Stuart Broad’s five wickets have cost 61.80 apiece.
Australia power to another home win
Bar a transitional team being beaten by Andrew Strauss’ brilliant England side in 2010-11, Australia have been dominant in Ashes matches down under for 30 years.
In the past 38 Tests against England on home soil, Australia have won 27 and lost only five.
The urn has so often been sealed at the Waca, a ground where Australia have not lost to England since 1978 and was staging its last Ashes Test – this is the fourth successive occasion that the home side have reclaimed the Ashes in Perth.
Here, as in the rest of the series, Australia were more ruthless with the bat and more potent with the ball.
Captain Steve Smith averages 142, pace trio Hazlewood, Cummins and Mitchell Starc have provided a constant, fearsome threat, while off-spinner Nathan Lyon has taken 14 wickets of his own.
Wet pitch fails to halt Australia
When at least five members of the ground staff were trying to dry a spot at the Swan River End, on a length around a right-hander’s off stump, there seemed to be a chance that no play would be possible on the final day.
As showers continued to roll in, both skippers had discussions with the umpires, who eventually decided on a resumption of 13:00 local time.
England, 132-4 overnight and with 70 overs to bat, saw their chances of an escape evaporate almost immediately when Bairstow, perhaps mindful of the surface, tentatively played inside the line to Hazlewood and was bowled.
In reality, the cracks running down the pitch were more hazardous than the wet patch – one delivery from the unerringly accurate Hazlewood moved so much from straight that it ended up at second slip.
Moeen Ali was lbw to Lyon before the resistance from the impressively assured Malan, who made his maiden century in the first innings, was ended with a gloved hook shot to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
Hazlewood got his fifth wicket by having Overton caught at gully, Broad flapped at a short ball from Cummins, who then hit last man Anderson on the head.
Anderson had two sets of treatment and, as Woakes tried to protect him from the strike, an attempted uppercut at Cummins ended in Paine’s gloves.
‘I have to take responsibility’ – reaction
England captain Joe Root: “It’s bitterly disappointing. You take a lot of responsibility as captain. Fair play to Australia, they outplayed us in this game and won the key moments.
“I am proud of the way we battled, but we were outskilled. We have been in every game but not managed to drive it forwards.
“We haven’t been completely outplayed we just haven’t performed at that level for long periods of time.
“It’s hard to take but it’s part of cricket.”