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Ashes 2021-22: Australia annihilate hapless England in 5th Test at Hobart to win 4-0

A rampant Australian cricket team showed no mercy on the hapless English side as they completed a commanding 146-run victory in the fifth and final Test of the Ashes 2021-22 to take the series 4-0 ― a margin similar to the series win they recorded four years ago in 2017-18 Down Under.

An abject batting surrender from the visitors followed England fast bowler Mark Wood’s 6/37 in a ruthless and accurate spell of fast bowling earlier in the day ― giving the Australians a taste of their own medicine ― which sparked a batting collapse as the hosts were bowled out for a mere 155 in their second innings. 

However, a strong lead of 115 runs in the first innings was enough for Australia to set a total of 270 on the board, against which the English team collapsed like a pack of cards despite making a strong start.

England openers Rory Burns and Zak Crawley produced the best opening stand across the five Ashes Tests this Australian summer when they added 68 runs to set their team on the track for an unlikely and surprise victory. 

With Burns and Crawley finally coming good with the bat after repeated failures, it was indeed a welcome shock to many, given how they had failed with the bat against a rampant Australian fast bowling attack throughout the series. 

But after Cameron Green broke through to dismiss Burns and Dawid Malan on either side of the tea break on the third day at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, England collapsed in a shocking manner to lose all 10 wickets for just 56 runs to hand Australia a swift and clinical victory.

Australia captain Pat Cummins returned with figures of 12.5-3-42-3, the star of the Aussie summer, right-arm fast bowler Scott Boland took 12-5-18-3 whereas all-rounder Green took 3/21 from his six overs. Mitchell Starc took a solitary wicket in the form of Ben Stokes, getting the maverick all-rounder caught at deep square-leg by Nathan Lyon as England threw in the towel even before Australia could really challenge them. 

Talking about Australia's most famous and successful spinner after Shane Warne, the home team never required Lyon's services with the ball in either innings at Hobart, wherein England failed to go past the 200-run mark on both the occasions. England were bowled out for 188 and 124 in the two innings to mark an end to a horrendous series Down Under.

Australia were absolutely clinical and dominant in this Ashes series. The home team started off with a huge victory by 9 wickets at Brisbane, which was followed by a 275-run spanking of the English side at the Adelaide Oval. In the third Test at Melbourne, Australia recorded a huge victory by an innings and 14 runs. 

It will be no exaggeration to say that England were rescued by rain at Sydney in the fourth Test. On the final day, Australia took 9 out of the 10 wickets which they needed to win the fourth match on the trot, but some gutsy batting by England aided by bad light and weather prevented them from doing so.

At a new venue in Hobart, a green top wicket enticed England captain Joe Root to bowl first. Root’s bowlers justified the call made by their captain, reducing Australia to 12/3, with the three-wicket burst producing the dismissals of David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith.

But Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head applied all their knowledge and experience of playing on greentop wickets against England bowlers, reviving Australia with a rapid stand of 71 runs for the fourth wicket. After Labuschagne was dismissed in a comical manner by Stuart Broad ― bowled around his legs ― Head partnered with Green to add another 121 runs for the fifth wicket while bringing up his second century of the series as well.

Head, who was named the Man of the Series for his incredible batting performances, faced 113 balls to score 101 from 12 boundaries. On the other hand, Green showcased all the hard work done in the background to score 74 from 109 balls with the help of eight boundaries.

Australia managed to go past the 300-run mark as they finished at 303 in the first innings, with Broad and Wood taking three wickets each whereas Ollie Robinson and Chris Woakes settling down with two wickets apiece.

England were off to a poor start when Burns was run out for a duck ― first time in over 100 years in the Ashes history. The last England opener who was run out for a duck was Andrew Stoddart in 1893. Crawley and Malan tried to revive the English innings, and so did Root but Australia kept chipping away with wickets as their captain Cummins returned with figures of 13.4-2-45-4. The left-arm fast bowler Starc was equally devastating, taking 3/53 from his 10 overs as the English side was bowled out for just 188.

Australia batted under the lights on the second evening and did not have a good time at all. Playing in presumably his last Ashes match at home, Warner grabbed a pair when he was caught for a three-ball duck off his nemesis Broad. Usman Khawaja could not carry the magic from Sydney whereas Labuschagne caught down the leg side for only 5.

Australia continued to lose wickets in a heap on the third day morning. Smith was dismissed on a short ball by Wood, who also accounted for the likes of nightwatchman Boland, Head, Starc and Cummins. But a brave knock of 49 from 88 balls with the help of four boundaries from wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey took Australia past the 150-run mark.

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